Let’s talk about something tonight. Something that is crippling The Church. Something that is paralyzing souls to move. Something that is building walls, wounding hearts, and causing hell to celebrate. Let’s talk about comparison & competition. This is something that is more rampant than I have ever seen it before. Thanks to social media, our generation is living a life flooded with comparison and competition. According to Google, the average person checks their phone 85 times a day and spends a total of 5 hours a day on their device…This is about 1/3 of the time a person is awake. Are you joking me? People. What are we doing with our lives?! … but that is a whole different blog topic for a different day.
Comparison & competition have always been around, even before social media. Check out the story of David and Saul in 1 Samuel. Saul gets jealous of David and then spends basically the whole rest of his life trying to kill him. The Pharisees loved to compare themselves to others, which only produced more pride. The story of Joseph and his brothers…Leah and Rachel…and I know there is more that I’m missing. Jealously, comparison, and competition have been here from the beginning….Oh yes, and Cain and Abel. Lol. But now with social media, there is an even greater opportunity to trip up The Church in this area.
So let’s talk about comparison first. What is comparison? Again, trusty Google tells me comparison is to estimate or measure. So comparison can lead to two things: One being pride, and two being insecurity. When we measure ourselves with someone else we can either walk away feeling good that we have “won” and are better or walk away feeling defeated and insecure; either way, comparison leads to sin in our hearts and minds. So even the sole act of comparison can be very damaging in itself. It can stop there, but more often than not, comparison then leads to the act of competing.
What is competing? I’ve gone to Google once more, and it has told me that competing is, to strive to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others who are trying to do the same. This might manifest itself in the form of lack of encouragement or acknowledgement of people in your life who are succeeding, snide comments, gossip, copying, working hard to be better than the other, not moving into God’s calling for your life due to insecurity, or so many other things. We compete to be the prettiest or best looking. We compete with other people to be so-&-so’s BEST best friend. Wives compete with other wives to outdo them in wifey things. Moms compete to be the best Mom and THEN they compete to have the best kids. We compete to be the most successful, have the most attention, or get the most likes. The list is endless. I see it every single day, and have experienced it so many times. We even compete to be the most spiritual.
Guys. I literally get sick to my stomach thinking about this. Our focus is so far off. What are we doing?! Our brothers and sisters are competing against our own brothers and sisters. It is truly a tragedy. And guess what? Hell is rejoicing. If Satan can turn us against one another, if he can get us to build walls, scar hearts, divide relationships, scare people to move into their calling… he is getting just what he wants. Are we going to fall prey to his schemes and lies? Are we going to let this happen right before our eyes? We are on the SAME TEAM. There is ONE enemy and let me tell you…it’s not each other. We have to get this you guys.
So what now? Let me give you a few tips to conquer this ugly fight of comparison and competition.
- First, go to scripture. The Word of God is completely sufficient. We have the answers and the power to combat anything that the enemy will throw our way. Ephesians 6:17 tells us that God’s word is the sword of the Spirit. We can use his word to fight and defend ourselves from temptation and sin. But how can we defend ourselves with the Word if we don’t know the Word? Daily be studying scripture! It is our daily bread. Also, memorize scripture! – Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Here are a few verses (there are many more but these are just a few) you can memorize to combat comparison and competition. SO GOOD:
- 1 Corinthians 12
- Philippians 4:11-13
- 1 Corinthians 1:10
- Colossians 3:13-14
- Psalm 133:1
- John 13:35
- Secondly, pray. pray. pray. We need the strength of Christ to help us in our weakness. We desperately need His grace and mercy. And we desperately need a heart change.
- Put down your phone. Like I said, I could write a whole blog post on this topic alone…and I am just as guilty as the next. But I refuse to let 1/3 of my life be lived on my phone. Social media can be used for great things, but just like so many things, only in moderation. Social media can be deadly for those who struggle with comparing and competing. So put down your phone and stop letting it control your life.
- Lastly, encourage and love on your brothers and sisters. Even the ones you barely know. We are a family. Pray for one another, celebrate each other’s accomplishments, encourage one another. We are in this fight together.
~Oh, Father. We need you. We desperately need you. We ask that you would purify our hearts- they are dirty and sinful. We ask that you would change our gaze- for our eyes are fixed on the perishing and not the eternal. Forgive us. Oh, Father, unify your Church. For we have been called to ONE family with ONE purpose. We are your army- We want to bring your Kingdom here. Use us together to show the world who You are. We love you, Jesus. Amen.
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” –Psalm 133:1
“By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” –John 13:35
“But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” -1 Corinthians 12:18
grace & love,