Adam and Eve didn’t know they had a bad life until the day the devil gave them a basis for comparison. They were happy, secure and satisfied with everything they had until the evening the serpent made them feel something was missing.
They were pressured into comparing themselves with God. The enemy told them,
“For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5.
The bait was, “you will be like God.” They saw the life God was living and they wanted it. They got plagued with the “be-like” syndrome. They felt inferior. They became insecure. They were no longer content with whom God made them be. They wanted to be something else. They became unhappy. They became blind to everything that God has given to them and became desperate to eat the only fruit God commanded them not to eat.
And it is the same for us today. There is always that tendency within us to be like someone else. We always compare our lives with those we consider better than us. This is why the greatest source of unhappiness is comparison.
You would probably never feel insecure or unhappy with your life if you were the only one on the face of the earth.
If there were no other person apart from you on earth, would you be under pressure to achieve all the things you are striving to achieve? But because your friend is married and you are not or he has a car and you don’t, you feel depressed.
You are discouraged because those who seem to be younger than you are doing great things and your life seems to be at a standstill. They are getting employed, building houses, travelling the world and there you are stuck with life. You feel cursed. “Life no balance,” you have often said.
It is worse in this age of social media where it is so easy to know what is going on in people’s life irrespective of distance.
Each time you go through your IG and Facebook feeds or your friends’ WhatsApp status, what you say is, “God, when?” You are comparing your life with your friends. The external world around you has given you a timeline when things must happen in your life. Get married by 27, have kids before 30, land a job right out of school, and we hold ourselves to these standards. You have been programmed to think that if things didn’t happen at a particular time, you are being left behind.
Comparison breeds ingratitude.
When you become overwhelmed with the things that have not happened in your life, you become blind to things that are happening and become bitter instead of grateful.
The truth is irrespective of the challenges you are going through or the things you desire but have not gotten, God has done so much more for you. Just that you have decided to intentionally ignore the things God has done for you and decided to focus on the negative.
This was the trick the devil played on Adam and Eve. He made them focus on what they didn’t have and should not have instead of being grateful for hundreds of fuits God gave them unlimited access to.
Psalm 150:6 says,
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord”.
The question is, do you have breath? I know you do and that is why you are reading this. God’s word says you should praise God. That you have breath cancels all your excuses. You’d probably not think of worrying about all your needs if you are in the grave.
People who are dead don’t care what’s going on in the world. So, look away from all that is not happening yet and praise God. Don’t let comparison destroy the spirit of gratitude.
Comparison leads to sin.
If you persist in comparison, it will lead you to sin. Like Adam and Eve, you will come under undue pressure and begin to do things that are ungodly. Your hunger for the things you don’t have yet may begin to becloud your sense of judgment and you will begin to compromise the moral and godly values you have held so dear. Your desperation for a change of status wouldn’t allow you to see the landmines you are stepping on.
Unfortunately, when we do comparison it is always against people that we think are way ahead of us. Our pride and ego won’t allow us to see so many people who look up to attaining our own current status.
Your seemingly bad life is what someone else desires to have.
Note that it is okay to desire a better life and this is not about asking you to be complacent with your life. However, there is a way to healthy comparison.
What I need you to see is that your locus of control is wrong. Your basis for comparison should not come from external sources. You shouldn’t live or take decisions based on the happenings in your environment.
Think about the experience of Adam and Eve. While the enemy fixated their gaze on just one forbidden fruit, he failed to remind them about hundreds of other fruits that God has given them unlimited access to. And that is what comparison does. It beclouds us from seeing all the blessings that God has given to us and the unlimited potential that lie within us. We envy those who should envy us. We fall into self-pity and come under pressure because we are too blind to see that those that are with us are more than those that are with them.
Change your locus of control. Shift your gaze. Stop coming under pressure because of the things you see externally. Look within, into the things God has already given to you.
“God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness. This power was given to us through knowledge of the one who called us by his glory and integrity.” 2 Peter 1:3
If you must compare yourself with anyone, let it be yourself. Let it be the person you ought to be and not some external person. This will put you in motion and give you the energy required to get to where you are going.
“For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise”( 2 Corinthians 10:12).
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