Comparison steals our joy. These days, being content with what we have and how we look is a struggle. If you ask a group of women what one of life’s biggest struggles is, the overwhelming answer will be being content and not comparing ourselves to others. A contented heart is something that we can (and need to) learn, because we are God’s children and He made us the way we are for a reason. Comparison and envy date back as far as Rachel and Leah in the Old Testament, where in Genesis 30:1 it says, “When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, ‘Give me children, or I shall die!’” We not only compare whether we are as “good” as others, but also compare our struggles with others and whose hardships are “worse.” How do we put out the comparison fire that Satan lights in our hearts?
How to Overcome Comparison: Cultivate a Contented Heart
1. Accept Your Uniqueness
Accept your uniqueness: Think of something you are good at, and then think how long you have been working at it. Is it running? Bargain shopping? Cooking? Remember everything good in life takes work. Do you envy that a friend has lost weight and looks great? Tell her that she looks amazing, and let her inspire you to work hard as well. And remember that God designed us to be different and unique. Life would be so boring if we all looked alike, dressed alike, and had the same talents and skills.
2. Celebrate Others
Be happy for the strengths of others: This one sort of goes with the point above. If we aren’t careful, when we first met someone we can get sucked into comparing ourselves to them. Whether it is their physical attributes or the material things they possess, we can either make ourselves feel better or worse about ourselves based on our evaluations. It is so hard to overcome this habit. Try every day to see yourself as God sees you, and remember that comparison is selfish. See the real person behind their physical and material attributes. Consider their feelings, and work hard to compliment others from the heart. You never know, they could also be struggling with a comparison battle. You can also learn from others, and instead of making life feel like a competition, you can become a better person.
Get rid of the “me” mindset: Comparison is selfishness disguised. It has us looking at others and thinking about ourselves. We need to work to train our minds to want to impress God and not others. When we stop thinking of how others view us, we can be free from the burden that is selfishness.
3. Comparison Ruins a Contented Heat
Kick worldly expectations to the curb: Like I said earlier, comparison steals joy. Not only does it steal our joy, it also steals our contentment and our will to live a godly life. When we compare ourselves with others, we are not using an accurate measure. Dragging around the world’s expectations hinders us from the journey that God has in store for us. We cheat ourselves out of God’s blessings when we try to live the life we see others living. When you live your own life, and stop envying someone else’s, you see your blessings more clearly.
Let’s rejoice in our strengths, work on our weaknesses and with a contented heart celebrate each other for the unique people we are!
This article on a contented heart originally appeared here.