Are You Fighting the Sin of Comparison?
In my single days, my roommates and I kept an article from John Piper on our refrigerator as a daily reminder to fight the sin of comparison. I come back to it often as I regularly deal with my own tendency to compare.
Last summer, as the women of our church studied John together, I was reminded again just how ugly comparison can be. The disciples were no stranger to comparison, in fact, Jesus addresses this snare directly in John's gospel. As Peter has just been restored to fellowship with Christ, he is immediately pulled into the comparison game as he looks at his fellow disciple, John. Piper says this about Peter's question to Jesus.
That's the way we sinners are wired. Compare. Compare. Compare. We crave to know how we stack up in comparison to others. There is some kind of high if we can just find someone less effective than we are. Ouch. To this day, I recall the little note posted by my Resident Assistant in Elliot Hall my senior year at Wheaton: “To love is to stop comparing.” What is that to you, Piper? Follow me.
The Comparison Trap
Comparison is often a besetting issue for us as women. We see a woman dressed differently than us, and we mentally stand next to her and boast in our attractiveness or wallow in how much better she looks. We see another mother with her children and compare our parenting skills . . . or lack of skills. We see a wife love her husband well and measure our relationship next to hers. We see a coworker excel at a particular task and wonder why we can't work with the same speed and precision. Or to hit it home for me, I read another writer and feel stings of comparison as her perfectly crafted sentences make mine look like the work of an amateur.