Bible Verse: If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Galatians 6:3-5
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 10:12; Matthew 25:14-30; Philippians 4:10-13; Romans 12:3-8
One enemy of authenticity, which we all battle with, is comparison. The practice of comparison is so insidious that it’s been wreaking havoc on men since the first human siblings, Cain and Abel. If you’re on social media, you know how people endlessly post about their best trip, best event, best life, best whatever. This can be an enjoyable pastime until you’re having a bad week or month or a struggle where your life experience doesn’t match up with what was just posted. You can be tempted to compare your life with someone else’s highlight reel, and it never feels good. Comparison attacks your contentment, and it goes for the death blow.
You are most authentic in your faith when you are content in the Lord. Contentment is a state of satisfaction and peace. It doesn’t mean all is going swimmingly; it just means that you and the Lord together are okay with life. Contentment is the sweet spot of trusting God. You are not frantically pushing for something more that you don’t have yet. Left unchecked, comparison can leave you bitter and shaken in your trust in God.
The apostle Paul had a steep learning curve when it came to comparison. He said he had to “learn” to be content in whatever situation he was in (Philippians 4:10-13). Whether things were lean or abundant, he was content. If he was enjoying the support of friends or felt left alone and surrounded by haters, he was content. Contentment is a spiritual discipline that can be learned and will help keep authentic faith intact.
To be authentic in Christ, you must be okay with not being someone else. As the saying goes, “Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” If God truly made you an original, why should you stress out trying to be someone else? Go ahead and trust God to see where your journey takes you. There will always be people around you at different places and different graces. Be okay with that and be your authentic self.
Prayer: Father, I want to guard against comparison. Help me learn to be truly content in Christ and be satisfied with what gifts, opportunities, and people You have put in my life. I am grateful for Your many blessings, and I choose to be satisfied and trust You fully. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Reflection: Have you spent time comparing yourself to others lately? Begin to see the practice of comparison as not only a waste of time but a subtle enemy that will attack your authenticity and make it harder to trust God. Let yourself be satisfied no matter what life looks like right now.
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