Lent – Day 31

Go Compare…

comparison-is-the-thief-of-joyI’m sure I’m not the only person on the planet who has wanted to smash in the face of Gio, the ‘Go Compare’ man. Mostly because of his annoying moustache, the bow-tie, and that dreadful song. But also because of his message: ‘go compare’. It is good advice when thinking about car insurance, and possibly when buying a computer or phone, but not when it comes to how to live your life.

When we compare ourselves to others it is never going to end well. When you’ve made your judgement you will either think that you’re better than them, which will make us feel superior, or you’ll decide that you’re worse than them, and that will lead to you putting yourself down. When you compare yourself to someone else, in any area of life, you’re comparing their best (or what they want you to think is them at their best) with what you know about yourself.

Think about the menu at McDonalds. The burger you see on the board above the counter, or in the posters, is absolutely perfect in every way. It has been lovingly prepared by a team who are all focussed on that one burger. It has been photographed in a studio which has another team devoted to lighting it in the most flattering way and photographing it to make it look better than it really is. Then it has probably been touched up to within an inch of its life by a team of Photoshop experts. That’s the image that they want us to see. Just like celebrities & our friends – they project an image that they want people to believe about them. Then when you order your burger an it finally arrives, you realise that reality is very different than the projected image. Your burger has been thrown together by one guy/girl who is doing twenty other things at the same time, then it’s been left on the warmer for about 10-15 minutes, before being roughly grabbed by the cashier, shaken around and thrown on a tray. When you finally open the box and see your burger, it looks like it has been left out in the rain for an hour, sat on and then forced through a letterbox. The image they want you to believe bears little relation to reality.

‘Never compare your inside to another’s outside, it makes for unhappiness’ – Marcus Brigstocke, comedian

[for more great wisdom like this, see the gallery of pictures underneath the video below]

It doesn’t matter whether it is exams or sporting ability, fashion, attractiveness or body shape – we are constantly given the message that we need to compare ourselves to others.

‘Do your own work well and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others.’ (Galatians 6:4) [CEV]

Thinking about that verse, when it says ‘your own work’ think of that as ‘being you’ – that’s your job as we’ve mentioned before. Your work, your job, is simply to be you – the person God created you to be. Do that to the very best of your ability and don’t worry about how well other people are ‘being themselves’.

‘We need to remember that we’re not worth more or less than anyone else – you are simply precious to God. God made us as individuals. God treats us as individuals. He took the care to give you a totally unique personality, brain pattern, DNA structure, eye retina imprint and fingerprint. Why then would he bother to compare you, favourably or negatively, with others? God doesn’t compare you to others and neither should you.’ – Matt Summerfield

On my journey of faith, apart from when I the day I committed my life to Jesus because I suddenly understood the sacrifice He’d made for me, the best decision I ever made was to stop worrying about what other people thought of me, and just decided to be the best ‘me’ I could be.Seriously. That set me free from feeling I had to measure up to anyone else’s opinion or expectations. I started to learn how to be content with how God saw me, and knowing that I was doing my very best. [check out the Ignite Youth series on ‘Identity’]

Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks of you. Don’t feel you need to try and impress them. Whatever mask you’re wearing or whatever you want them to see you as, God knows exactly what you’re like, and He loves you anyway. Did you get that? He loves you – just for being you – for being the unique & beautiful individual He created you to be.

Reflect:
– in what ways/areas do I compare myself to others?
– what makes me feel I need to live up to other people’s standards & expectations?
– where do I feel the biggest pressure to compare myself?
– and what can I do to be content with who I am and what I’m like in that area?

Prayer:
Father God, I believe you love me for who I am,
Please help me to love myself.
Lord Jesus, I know you see me as unique and priceless,
Please help me to see myself in that way too.
Holy Spirit, set me free from the need to ‘go compare’,
Please help me to be content with the ‘me’ you created me to be.

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