I've been writing this topic in my head for years. I've seen it personally in my own life and I've seen it with my own eyes and ears too, and today, I am finally going to write about it. Comparison. Let me give you a few examples of how comparison works. Women comparing themselves to the gal next to them and it just doesn't stop there. Women also verbally talk negatively about themselves: "I'm not skinny enough," "I have big legs," "I don't have abs like her," "I can't run like her," "I wish I was her." What do you say when no one is looking?

Where else does comparison strike? Pretty much in every area of our life. Perhaps we're always striving for a bigger house, more money, a fancier car, THE yoga mat, THAT school, our kids reading before our friends kids, our child being potty trained first, wearing designer clothes (what brand is that? Will people notice what I am wearing?) ... name your thing.

But it just don't stop there. We actually secretly want people to fail. You might not admit it out loud, but you've done it. "I hope they don't get into that school," "I hope they don't that job," "I hope they don't finish that race," "I hope they don't get that house" ... the list can be endless.

We get so focused on the mirror to our right and our left, that we become consumed with comparison and what does comparison breed? Jealousy, discontent, anger, hate, rage, evil, greed. We need to be content with where we are and what we have. This doesn't mean we sit back and do nothing to achieve our goals and dreams. But when we work towards our dreams and goals they need to be focused on what God wants for us, not what our neighbor has.

There are so many issues to comparing. Acceptance. (Will people like me now? Will this get retweeted? Will I get more likes than my competition?). Who are you trying to gain acceptance from? The answer could be scary for some of us. But if we take the time to deal with our scary issues we can move forward with healing and peace.

Unhappiness and discontent are other side affects of comparison. We are never happy with what we have. They have a double king bed? Well, we'll buy a triple king bed. They remodeled their kitchen? We'll remodel our WHOLE house. They have 10 foot ceilings? We'll have 12 foot ceilings, but things don't buy us happiness or enjoyment. They only feed the hungry comparison beast.

I posted this last evening: Dear women, you are beautiful. Stop comparing yourself to the gal beside you. Love yourself and for the things you HAVE achieved. #bodyimage

And of course that post received many RTs and likes. That made me feel good - kidding. And someone shared with me that Andy Stanley (no relation to me) had just preached on this very topic yesterday. I listened to the message and it. Was. Good. He said this "there is no win in comparison." How true is that? There is no finish line in comparison. Life is not a competition my friend. Life is about helping others in this journey.

So, if you are in the comparison cycle, it's time to break that right now. It will take a lot of diligent, hard work, but you'll find peace, contentment and happiness when you stop comparing yourself to everyone around you. They aren't you. And you aren't them. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. And you know what? Others would probably trade places with you. The grass you think is greener on the other side is your jealousy making it green. Stop comparing yourself!

Some questions to ask yourself.

Who is your mirror?

What's driving you?

Does comparison have control over your life?

Photo credit: seanmcmenemy