Why can’t my life be like theirs?
Those are just a few results of analyzing someone else’s life and seeing how yours may or may not match up. At some point in our lives, every one of us has compared ourselves to someone else.
There was a point in my early adulthood where comparing myself to others took a toll on my emotional health. I couldn’t help but find myself scrolling through social media and wishing my life was like those I saw online. I would say things like:
“Maybe I should start wearing makeup more often. That seems to be what gets the attention of others.”
“I wish my body looked like that.”
“OMG! They’re vacationing in the Bahamas? That looks so relaxing. Why can’t I go on vacations like that.”
I would find myself scrolling and comparing for hours on end. Seeing that my life wasn’t measuring up to those I saw online caused me to question if there was something wrong with my life.
At some point, I had to stop and take a look at my life and the great things. Although I don’t wear makeup every day, I’m still uniquely beautiful. Although my body doesn’t look like a super model’s body, it’s still a work in progress. Although I’m not vacationing in the Bahamas at this moment, I’m thankful to be able to travel to the places I can.
In this Bible study, we will be discussing the issue of comparing ourselves to others, ways to stop comparing ourselves to those around us and end with some scripture to study. Without further ado, let’s get started!
A friendship torn apart by jealousy
Sally and Patricia had been best friends since elementary school. They shared the same birthday and even liked the same foods. An outsider would probably assume that they were sisters. As they grew older, things began to change between them.
While Sally was blossoming into a social butterfly that could easily make friends and got excellent grades, Patricia lagged behind in her studies and preferred the company of only a few people. While Patricia’s parents encouraged her to get out and make new friends, the thought of putting herself out there was scary. Patricia lacked confidence.
Seeing her best friend thrive and accomplish great things, caused Patricia to become jealous.
“Why can’t I be like that?”
“Sally thinks she’s better than everyone!”
“I don’t want to be friends with her anymore.”
Patricia comparing herself to Sally, caused a massive rift between them. Sally would do her best to make conversation and come over after school, but all Patricia wanted to do was stray away from her. Sally would ask why she was so distant, and all Patricia could do was make excuses. Patricia was embarrassed to tell Sally that she was jealous of her. The result of that was several years of friendship slowly going down the drain.
Little did Patricia know that Sally was dealing with hardships. After her father passed away, she slipped into a deep depression. Her mom was rarely home because of a strenuous work schedule. Sally felt alone at home and didn’t want to burden anyone else with her problems. Instead of telling anyone, she covered it up with fake confidence and overachieving in everything she did. Sally was hurting.
Eventually, Patricia worked up the nerve to tell Sally that she felt left out and jealous. Shocked, Sally could not believe what she was hearing. Why would her best friend be jealous of her? Sally informed Patricia what she was going through and let her know that if she put forth more effort, she could be just as social and achieve more things out of life. They ended their conversation with smiles and a vow that they wouldn’t let their friendship be ruined by something so silly again.
Stop comparing yourself, and focus on who God created you to be (plus a journaling exercise)
The story of Sally and her best friend, Patricia, illustrates how your life and relationships with others can be ruined by comparing what you have to someone else. It also showed that although someone may look like they have it all together on the outside, they’re possibly struggling with something on the inside.
God did not create us to be like the person standing next to us. He designed our individual lives for us. Exodus 20:17 NIV states that, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Our lives and circumstances are the way it is for a reason. God designed every single one of us and our lives uniquely. Your life isn’t going to be like the “perfect” person living next door to you. Your life is just that, yours. If there’s something about you or your life that you don’t necessarily like, change it if you can. Appreciate what you have!
A sure-fire way to help you when you’re finding yourself comparing your life to someone else’s is to be grateful for your life and what’s in your life. Are you in good health? Do you have a roof over your head? Income? Food to eat? This list of questions can go on and on. Every day, I would like you to write down or type, three things you are grateful for. When you find yourself beginning to compare your situation to someone else, refer back to your list of things you’re thankful for.
Although it may look like someone has it all, it doesn’t mean they do. People have a tendency to cover up what their life is really like to save face. That same person you’re comparing your life to is probably struggling with something that they don’t want anyone to know about. Keep that in mind before you go comparing yourself to someone else.
What are you thankful for? Comment down below!
Have a blessed day!!
Bible verses to study:
1 Thessalonians 5:18