Before you play the comparison game, try this instead

By Megan Lacourrege

Megan Lacourrege

Do you struggle with comparisons? Perhaps you are prone to comparing yourself to others. Or maybe other people approach you with comparisons of their own.

In my own life, I discovered that comparisons have never left me happy. They often seemed to cause competition and even contempt. Once I realized that, I’ve made efforts to detach from dynamics that have lent themselves to comparisons. In the process, I’ve delved into a Bible story that has helped me a lot.

At the very end of John’s Gospel, Jesus is having an intimate conversation with Peter. Jesus hints that Peter’s journey will be filled with trials. At that, Peter immediately looks over at John.

“Lord, what about him?” asks Peter. Peter is looking over his shoulder, comparing his calling to his fellow apostle’s.

“What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me,” Jesus replies.

What a response! Jesus tells Peter that comparisons are pointless. There is only one question that matters: Am I doing God’s will in my own life?

This story reminds me that comparisons really are empty. They don’t help us discover who we truly are, what we have done well, and what we need to improve on. Only God and self-knowledge can do that.

Hearing Jesus’s words in the passage as if they were spoken to us individually can shift our attention from the distraction of comparisons to God’s call in our own lives. If you’ve struggled with the comparison game, maybe reflecting on this story could help you, too.

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