This article was written in response to the frequent comments I read around social media where homeschool moms, bloggers, and women in general fall victim to the “comparison trap.” You know what I’m talking about — and usually, most of us are comparing our worst moments (days!) to someone else’s best. This is a dangerous (and often sinful) place to find yourself.
I am hopeful that the next time you are feeling green with envy toward another, you will find it helpful to take those thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and replace them with Truth. It does not honor God to put on envy, and so often it destroys relationships (both with other women and with Jesus)
We’ve all done it, and as women, it began when we were little girls sitting in Kindergarten (or if you were homeschooled, in Sunday School class), and the girl next to you was, to your way of thinking, better at something than you.
Maybe your hair was brown and hers was yellow.
Maybe it was her shoes, or the way she drew her tree. Whatever it was, it has been with us since our conception. Comparison. And it’s a trap.
Of course, we’re not the first women to fall prey. It all began with poor Eve. There she was in the garden, with everything a girl could want, and comparison crept in. Next thing you know, she and her complicit husband are being booted out of the Garden.
Because at the root of comparison is envy.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines envy, in part, as, “to fret or grieve one’s self at the real or supposed superiority of another, and to hate him on that account.”
And, let’s be honest here, isn’t that an accurate description of the bitterness that wells up in us . . . to fret, to grieve, and to hate?
We are even guilty of envy with people we love, and then we tend to feel that guilt.
SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO TO GET OUT OF THE COMPARISON TRAP?
Let’s follow the pattern set forth in God’s Word, and use a “put on” that we can use to “put off” envy!
TO PUT OFF “ENVY”, PUT ON “CONTENTMENT”
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Find Contentment in God by dwelling on His promises.
TO PUT OFF “HATE”, PUT ON “LOVE”
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12.
Obey the Commands of Christ and love on another, whether we’re feeling it or not.
TO PUT OFF “GRIEF”, PUT ON “JOY”
Often those we “grieve” over are our own sisters-in-Christ.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. Philippians 1:3-5
Put on joy, that you have a partner in the Gospel with one another!
TO PUT OFF “FRET”, PUT ON “FAITH”
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Place your faith in God and His provision for you, not what he has provided for others. It’s never at your expense!
TO PUT OFF A “CRITICAL SPIRIT”, PUT ON “NOT EASILY PROVOKED”
A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
Be wise and you will learn patience and the ability to overlook an offense.
Do you struggle with comparing yourself to others? What is one way today you can use one of these put-on’s to put off envy?