The Comparing Game

Gwen SmithBlog, Christian Living, Comparison, Temptation, Worth 57 Comments

Uniquely YOU

We live in a competitive world. The pressures to be thin, beautiful, fit, smart, sexy, funny, rich, and popular trap us in a relentless vise-grip. Anyone can become gripped by a disorder or an addictive lifestyle. You could be a college student, a businesswoman, a nurse, a mom, a dance instructor, a retail clerk, or a Sunday school teacher. No one is exempt. Feelings of inadequacy and inferiority ravage hearts of Christians and non-Christians alike.

Our attempts to measure up are all-consuming traps. They focus our attention inward verses upward. When we get caught in the trap of striving to measure up, we focus on ourselves. That was never God’s plan. We were designed to focus on Him. Shifting our attention from ourselves to God will change our perspective. God longs for our obsession to be Him.

“I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols” (Isaiah 42:8).

The Dangers of Comparing

A common way we attempt to measure up is through comparison. Comparing is one of the most dangerous and destructive behaviors that we women engage in. We compare everything—our husbands, our children, our churches, and our cars. We compare our homes, our schedules, our finances, our blessings, and our burdens. There is a subtle, internal dialogue that plagues our minds and causes us to pull out our measuring sticks and hold them up to the people around us.

That’s not to say that we should isolate ourselves or withdraw from awareness of others. We need to be able to relate to our friends, families, and neighbors. No question. But we shouldn’t compare ourselves to them.

Comparing your life, your family, your stuff, your failures, and your accomplishments to that of someone else is dangerous. Very dangerous. It draws the focus of your heart to you instead of to God. The comparing game also brews a bitter cup of jealousy and resentment. I should know. I’ve tasted more than my fair share of that bitter drink.

No, we in the church are not immune to comparisons by a long stretch! How many times have you looked across the aisle and thought, “She’s such a godly woman I wish I was more like her,” or “I wish I could pray like her (or sing like her, or speak like her, or bake like her, or be popular like her, or be organized like her)”?

Often the things we compare are completely meaningless, fluffy things…

Do you have a girlfriend with perfect hair? How about a girlfriend with a husband who treats her as a precious jewel? Got a friend whose house is crazy-organized? Do you have a friend who works out faithfully and looks like she belongs on the cover of a fitness magazine? Got one of those?

Sure you do. So do I.

Honestly, my list of shortcomings could go on forever. I’m keenly aware that I fall short in many areas. It’s easy to listen to the voices in your head that say, “You’re not this, and you’re not that. You don’t do this well, and you can’t do that.” Your internal comparison dialogue is a vicious measuring stick that the enemy loves to wave in your face. Your defense in such an attack should be God’s truth. You were made to be you, and are called to be uniquely you, for Him.

Yes, we should strive to live lives of excellence. And yes, we should be aware of personal areas that need improvement. But God intends that we should bloom where we are planted and thrive in our gifting’s so that His church can function in a healthy, balanced way.

In the New Testament book of 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul shows us clearly that each of us has a divine design and an important role to play in the Body of Christ.

For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body (1 Corinthians 12:14-20, NASB).

God has a special plan for your life. God’s gifts for you are the best gifts for you to possess. He fashioned you in His image and tenderly knit you in your mother’s womb. You are purposed to be a God-loving YOU.

It’s time we quit chasing the interests of others and start pursuing the passions that were written on our hearts. Our role in the Body of Christ is essential. God wants us to stop trying to measure up to everybody around us and be content in Him.

Dear God, please renew and transform me from the inside out! When feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and self-doubt creep into my heart, help me to see myself the way you do. I want to be held tightly by your truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Read Ephesians 2:1-10. What observations can you make about the depth of God’s love for you and the unique design He has for your life?

Do you accept how much you’re loved by God? Does it impact how you perceive yourself? Pray about it and write in your journal if you’re the journaling type. Then leave a comment on my wall so we can talk about it and pray through it together. If you are ready to move beyond comparing, leave a comment, “I’m done with the comparing game!”


Today’s post is an excerpt from my book Broken into Beautiful

I want to help you be a woman of impact who expects great things from God and moves in the power and grace of Jesus. That’s why I’m hosting a FREE Online Bible Study of I Want It ALL.

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Comments 57

  1. I loved the blog today. Sometimes I am so caught up in what I am not, I forget that God created me for who I am. More than that I am loved just as I am flaws and all.

  2. I needed this today but in a different way. It’s been a tough year for me and I’m a home schooling mom for three beautiful sons. I’ve just done a terrible job of teaching them this year. As I read the devotional, then went to the scripture and journaled, I started weeping and praying. The Lord spoke to me. “You are seeing yourself through the eyes of who you no longer are. You are a new creation. You are my creation. You are empowered and able. You can move mountains.”

    When we put our eyes on our flesh and who we were without our creator, what we see is anything but truthful and everything that will fail.

    As for the comparing game, I’m done with it. It’s time to move on. If we all make that choice and stick to it, the impact on the church and the WORLD will be GLORIOUS!!!!

  3. I am done with this comparing game! Help me Lord to listen and accept your truth. Protect me from the enemy’s lies. Guard my heart and mind. Amen!

  4. I have stopped comparing myself to others when I stuck my nose in scripture for the last few years and found myself thinking about God more than myself. It has helped me through the trials with my husband (serious illness) and to find the strength to work my way through all of what is going on. I really do appreciate the devotionals that hit on every day life and what we go through as women. When we place God as #1, we will be able to handle everything else that disrupts our lives.

  5. Psalm 84:11-12 (NIV)
    “11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. 12 Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in You.”


  7. Thank u for for this. I struggle with the aging process, physically ….also finding my passion n gifts where I can serve others most effectively n in my church

  8. This article forced me to self examine my heart n this area, n at times I do compare myself with others, my home n my body, my car, n my husband.
    I also struggle greatly as knowing what my passion n gifts r so that I can be most effective in the church, marriage n other to serve others.
    I have been praying about this for a while now.
    I’m 55 yrs old n don’t care for the physical aging on my body either…lol

  9. I am done with the comparing game! I pray I will focus on the blessings in my life and use those blessings for His glory!! Thank you for your daily devotions. My sister and I enjoy them very much.

  10. I am done with the comparing game. It broke my heart to read everyone’s comments about feeling inadequate…then the irony hit me that I do this multiple times every day. And it’s mentally exhausting. Thank you, Gwen, for this post. I am always amazed at how you Girlfriends in God seem to post things that I struggle with on a daily basis. So glad I found y’all. I am going to set a goal of getting through ONE day of not comparing myself and then move to two. Hopefully this harmful habit will be broken!

  11. Perfect timing for me. Thank you for this. I have been struggling with this issue so much. Because of illness I’m not able to do things I used to do, and I find myself being envious of people my age (52) who can work, volunteer, take classes, take trips, clean house and do yard work – all things I used to do but no longer can do it with any reliability. But with God’s help I know I will learn to love this season of my life, but I have to stop comparing or wishing I could do something – this just sets me up for despair. I am being healed and I push through with God’s help. I’m learning to find joy no matter my circumstances. I do this by staying near to God and putting on the armor of God daily. Thanks again for focusing on this topic and I appreciate your prayers as I learn to trust Him more.

  12. About a year ago, a woman recently separated from her husband, took a liking to mine. She called and texted him at an unacceptable level and at inappropriate times. She also sent pictures of herself to him. Not only did her son play ball for my husband, but she was a fellow church member. Her and her family had attended my daughter’s wedding and my son had been on fishing trips with them. I played that “comparison game”. She was younger, thinner, and had a “to die for” voice. This also came at a time that I was adjusting to the “empty nest” scenario. My children were grown and getting married. The things that filled my life for the last 20 years were not as demanding. This, at times, still bothers me. We still attend the same church, but avoid each other at all costs. I am done playing the comparison game.

  13. Thank you for the reminder that we each have a gift given to us as part of the body of Christ. It’s easy to get trapped in the “game” of comparison because we measure ourselves according to the world’s standards. But if we renew our minds with the word of God ( Psalm 139) we will be happy for others when they accomplish something or blessed with something, Being content with what God has given us brings so much PEACE. Happy is a man (woman) who finds wisdom and gains understanding. We are God’s masterpiece.

  14. “I’m done with the comparing game!” I have been doing this all of my life. And I am not doing it anymore! Because I compared myself to others, I have lost sight of who I am in Christ. I have been searching and listening for the Lord to tell me what I should do and then leading me in that direction.

    Thank you for your wonderful insights, your eloquent way of writing and your wonderful voice. You are an inspiration to many. May the Lord always bless you & your ministry!

  15. I believe we have all done this, as women it is an insecurity. I think some of us start at a young age when a parent puts pressure on you to be like so and so, which to me is wrongful parenting. Ironically this is the very chapter I myself have studied all week. I truly believe God would rather we build up each other and call on him for guidance when we feel low and are listening to the lies of the enemy. He is a Good Father and loves everyone of us and created us all to be different and not the same.

  16. Thank you for sharing thes truths today. This is my struggle and my battle right now. Often I become paralyzed with this.

  17. I’m convinced that the answer is Gratitude. I write this on Good Friday and remember how our Lord gave thanks before His horrific trial. When I forget to be grateful I become Blind to the truth of all my blessings. See others the way you hope others see you, quickly forgetting your shortcomings and remembering some goodness only. Give me eyes to see You, Jesus, reaching out to me through each person and situation in my life. And give me a heart of thanks, and praise…..

  18. I am so done with the comparison game! I’ve compared myself to my sister (who’s younger than me!) all of my adult life! I compare myself to what society says we should look like to be approved, to fit in, etc. It is mental torment and it’s zapping me of the the gift God has placed in me…to love ALL regardless of race, religion, gender, economic status, etc. I declare and decree on this day, I AM DONE WITH THE COMPARISON GAME! In Jesus Name, Amen.

  19. It is so amazing how God provides. He has provided all we need not to compare ourselves to others. I am still a work in progress and I thank God that I only compare myself to what I am ….to what I used to be. I’m am really done with comparing myself to others.

  20. I am SO done with the comparing game. I’m done comparing myself and what I do to other people, because, as I reminded one of my younger sisters today, God made us all different for a reason. I only want to ever compare myself to Christ, and be who He wants me to be.

  21. We just returned from visiting long-time friends who have moved to a new area. It was so good to spend time with them and explore their new surroundings. Their home is simple and just what I sometimes long for. After 24 years in our home I would love to downsize and get out from under the continuing upkeep. My husband is not motivated to take charge of the external things and I get so frustrated at the ongoing list that never seems to get taken care of. My friend’s husband is a “doer”, and though I know their life is not perfect, I find myself comparing and dreaming of the “if onlys”. I know in my heart I should and need to be “content in every situation”, but the comparison factor creeps in and pulls me down. Thank you for you devotion that points out this destructive habit. I so needed this. Lord, help me to be grateful for the many blessings you shower upon me daily. Help me to focus on You and not me and what I perceive as “lack”. In Jesus name.

  22. I’m done with the comparing game! For so long, I’ve shrank inside myself and let others outshine me thinking, “Oh, they’re so smart . . . pretty . . . strong . . . talented” (Really anything can be inserted here, because someone else was almost always everything I felt I wasn’t!). I even gave up on the guy I liked, because I felt that he was out of my league; therefore, how could he ever like me? I’m so done with being pathetic, Gwen! As long as God loves me and he leads me to a situation, I know He will supply what I lack.

    Thank you and God bless you for writing this!

  23. I don’t consciously compare myself to others as much as I compare myself to what I used to be and what I used to be able to do. I have been self-destructive in my life.

    My life is so cluttered now that I don ‘t even know what passion God placed in my heart and what stuff I do just because I do it, i.e. think it’s right, should be done, using a gift, etc.

  24. I want to be done with comparing myself to others! It had been especially hard in thus season of my life as it seems like all of my friends and family are married and sharing their lives with someone. I’m divorced and single and just don’t understand what God has planned for me. But this devotion really resonated with me and gave me new perspective.

  25. I needed this today. God always know when we need encouragement or a in your face message. I have a serious issue with comparison and negative thought patterns. I know God made me uniquely,and that He has gifted me with the talents I need to do His work. However that need to be accepted cause me to compare myself and compromise my goals and desires. PLEASE PRAY for me to stop being a people pleaser and stop comparing myself to others.

  26. I’m done with the comparing game. May I add that we should also stop comparing others with each other. People have compared me a lot with others and it was very hurtful. Parents who tell their children: “look at your brother he’s so brave.” ” Why can’t you be more like your sister?” “Look at your friend she finished her school, why can’t you?” Or “all your friends are married, you’re the only one left” Sometimes they don’t say it but you know they are thinking it. Others making comments like: that’s the smart one and that’s the dumb one. Or my ex girlfriend was a great cook! Thankfully the Lord showed me that in people’s eyes we will never measure up, so we don’t even have to try it. We can only live our life the best way possible guided by the Holy Spirit.

  27. I am so done with the comparing game. One of my favorite quotes is “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I can’t remember who said that but it is so true. God is helping me more and more to step out and do the things He called me to, and to use the gifts He gave me.

  28. I am a SAHM to our 2 lovely daughters. Been feeling inadequate and guilty for staying home with no job and financial contribution. I wanted so much to do something more for my family. Never occurred that God has so blessed me with the gift of a husband who can support us comfortably so I can have a full time ministry at home to be a mom and wife. I realized that I needed to be content and receive this blessing. I am His masterpiece and designed to serve Him. Pray with me as I hold on to this TRUTH while I seek and follow Him. Thank you.

  29. I’ve been battling to kill the last of my eating disorder from two years ago and this week has brought me to that blessed fork in the road. God had been revealing so much to me as I seek Him in this time. One of my devotionals yesterday was also about comparisons so I’m thinking God is getting my attention and trying to communicate to me that I am valuable to Him regardless of How I look or how others look at me. I don’t need to compare my looks or my security or my faith. So I’m done with comparisons. I’m killing that old monster that allows me another way to “control.”

  30. Hi. I am done comparing myself with others! I had such a great plan for my life. Goals. When God did not do these things on my time schedule I became angry and bitter. Very judgemental and critical. I see it was only the deception of the enemy. I want to love and be the me God originally called me to be. Too focused on others and me. I have wasted years and seem to have come to nothing. Deep inside I seem to have lost spiritual perception and insight for the gospel. I want to come up out of this hell and be rescued by Jesus. I want to be free without competition and jealousy. I have stretched my self thin helping and doing for others in the beginning because I felt this was right. No boundaries or pursue my goals. I want the love of Jesus in my heart but having difficulty on how to start and remove the cup I drink from. I seem to have given others power and control over my life. It all need to stops

  31. I’m done with the comparing game. I do this at least three times a week and it breaks my spirit every time. Today I declare I’m done with comparing myself to others. In Jesus name. Amen!!

  32. I so want to be done with the comparing game too. I compare my looks, my personality, and most definately my gifts. I have been trying to use my gifts for the church, but sometimes I wish I was more outgoing, more caring, and encouraging to those in need. I need God’s will in my life to show me His joy, His peace, and make me like Him, fulfilled by serving Him. I want to stop comparing my personality and just depend on him to make me what He wants me to be.

  33. “I am done with the comparing game!” I am done listening to the lies of the enemy and believeing God’s truth for me!

  34. I want to be more like Sarah in the Bible, but don’t know what to do to get there. HOw do I have control!!! I don’t feel as if I do; I’m jealous everytime my hubby comments on others, why?

  35. I really felt that I had stopped comparing myself to other woman. I love. The feeling of embracing them as friends . yesterday an area of my life I THOUGHT I was through comparing myself to other woman came rearing its ugly head again. I felt embarrassed, old,told myself I was stupid all the old familiar
    LiEs came flying back to me . the worst was doubt. Ah the enemy never quits does he ? Today I choose God and his ways, his kindness in me I will attempt to show to others and myself

  36. I’m scared because I can’t accept this…I want to be better than I am. I used to be, but I have allowed other things to influence my outlook on life. I am damaged and continue to damage the people in my life. I want to be the better wife, mother, and giver.

  37. I am so grateful to be reminded of where my focus needs to be. I have allowed feelings of insecutrity about my weight to nearly crush my spirit. I prayed your prayer and I mean it. My eyes need to be on God and the blessings He fills my life with. Please pray for me!

  38. Thank you so much for this today. It hit home with me in so many ways. I request your prayers that I will quit looking at others and be what God intends for me to be. In so many ways so imperfect, but perfectly loved and accepted by Him. Thanks again!!!

  39. This is exactly what I needed to hear today! You are so right Gwen.
    His plan for us is unique and perfect. Very difficult to do this on our own.
    Thankful He is Strong in our weakness. So important to model this to our

    1. Please pray for me for my anxiety, depression, panic attacks, PtTSD, and goraphonic, I am beginning to not to be able to leave my house, lay in bed a lot, cry and am so unhappy and have a lot of fear, prayers for me that the good God can help me get through this terrible disease , prayers are appreciated, God Is Great, In Jesus name Amen??

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