The Comparison Thief

comparison thief

Last week, as my daughter prepared for her Earth Day chapel presentation on creation, we talked about various aspects of creativity, including what stifles it. When I said, “comparison is the thief of creativity,” she replied, “Wow! I’m definitely putting that quote in my powerpoint!!”

The more I thought about it, the more I realized the deep damage that comparison does to us emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and physically. It is indeed a thief of creativity, but it also robs us of so much more.

There’s always someone who is prettier, wealthier, more confident, seemingly having it all together, while all we see are the flaws in, on, and around us.

For years, I let the clutter and disarray in my house keep me from inviting friends over. Or it threw me into such a tidying frenzy that my family steered clear of the madwoman with the dustbuster. How did other moms open their House Beautiful doors with such grace and apparent ease?

They didn’t.

Their stress was just hidden from my view. Maybe it isn’t their housekeeping, but somewhere in some way, they are struggling with confidence, just like you and me.

Satan tempts us to think that others have it easier than we do. Or that they are better in some way. He wants to keep us isolated, feeling alone even in the midst of a crowd. Our minds travel down paths that God never intended, believing that no one else faces the challenges we do, or that they conquer those challenges with ease. It’s all a lie.

Outside of heaven, perfection doesn’t exist. <<click to tweet>>

Everyone has their own despair, drama, and unfulfilled dreams. But we don’t need to look for it in their lives to feel better about ourselves. We just need to be obedient to the One who knows it all and loves us anyway. If we’re doing the best we can, we can rest in that.

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else. — Galatians 6:4

When a friend stopped by unexpectedly and saw the clutter I had always tried to hide, she let me know that it made her feel right at home! She preferred a “lived-in” house to a picture-perfect one. How often had I robbed myself of time with friends because of the way I or my house looked? How often had I robbed God by not participating in events or activities where He could have used me? All because I compared myself to others who were probably comparing themselves to me!

There is only one perfect standard to compare ourselves to, and this side of glory, we’ll never be perfect. But the more we keep our eyes on Jesus, the more we will start to resemble Him, and the more we will be satisfied with how and who He made us to be.

 “Usefulness is not impaired by imperfection. You can drink from a chipped cup.” – Greta K. Nagel

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  • DonnaB

    I needed this message, Susan. I need to remember to focus on the one and only One who loves me no matter what I do or say, how I look or, yes, how my house looks!

    • Susan Panzica

      Thanks Donna! We all need this message ;D

  • Cecelia Lester

    Thank you, Susan, for sharing these words with us. We have a small house and I have had various reasons for not being able to keep it neat and tidy. When I had at-home- therapy, I had the incentive to keep the living room picked up and the kitchen looking presentable. One of the therapists had me do part of my exercises at the kitchen sink. A friend of mine, now in heaven, was the age of my dad; when she was reasonably healthy,she could run circles around me. Her struggles were more emotional than physical but it was always a joy to go visit her. BTW, she cleaned other people’s houses as a way to make extra money.

  • Marja Meijers

    Comparison is a thief indeed, it will steal our joy. I try not to fall for that trick 🙂