The young ladies sang with joy, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” (1 Samuel 18:7). What seemed like an innocent celebration of victory served as a catalyst to rob Saul of his joy and infect him with a deadly emotional expression – comparison. Saul was devastated by what David had accomplished. The Bible says, “Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. "They have credited David with tens of thousands," he thought, "but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” (1 Samuel 18:8)

We know comparison robs of joy - that’s a well-known fact. However, we often overlook the residual effects of this heart posture. When it runs rampant, comparison develops an adversarial mindset fueled by fear of loss. Furthermore, it cultivates an unhealthy urgency to achieve goals in an unrealistic time frame. It consumes our very being and blinds us to any logical/spiritual considerations. In the end, most of all decisions made in this state of mind lead to destruction.

Entrepreneurs who compare themselves to those further along, may take out business loans for their venture without the proper acumen to manage those funds. Poor spending habits coupled with poor marketing outcomes cause these overzealous pioneers to take on a debt they’re unable to recover from; killing their business dreams altogether.

Singles who allow themselves to be consumed by the comparison of their married-with-children friends often enter toxic relationships regardless of the blaring red flags they notice. Blinded by their desire, they often excuse the most egregious offences under the notion that “at least I’m not single anymore.” These relationships often tear at the fabric of their trust, leaving them in a place of resentment - of themselves and of God.

But that’s not the worst of it. The greatest side effect of comparison is the corruption of perception. It turns our most genuine supporters into undercover “haters”. Why? Because their advice, in light of our unhealthy aspirations, seem like roadblocks instead of guard rails.

Let’s take that single person again, for example. Your advice to “leave that toxic relationship and wait patiently for God” would be met with the ‘You just don’t want me to be happy” response; your intentions are pure, but they’re misinterpreted as you being unsupportive. We’ve all been on both ends of the isle; we’ve all had our run-ins with the dark side of comparison...

So what do we do? How do we stop this thing from taking root in our heart, corrupting us and our perception of people’s motives? The answer is simple, but living it is challenging – cultivating a lifestyle of gratitude. Yes, a life of thanksgiving is the fail-proof strategy to prevent being corrupted by comparison. If this answer seems anticlimactic to you, then guess what? You probably suck at being grateful (I’m guilty too lol).

I challenge you, after reading this post, to start thanking God for what He’s done for you. I guarantee you’ll feel good after. If you don’t, I’ll give you $10 (when I get it). With gratitude, you’re communicating to God two major truths – (1) you appreciate what He’s given you, and (2) you trust what He’s given you is EXACTLY what you need and ALL you need; no good father will withhold a blessing from a a child expressing this type of gratitude.

Comparison will affect us all - there’s no denying it. How we respond to comparison is what’ll make the difference in our lives. Father, help us to develop a heart of gratitude, not for the benefits, but out of a sincerity that cannot be questioned. Help us respond to comparison by running to you, not to things. Give us the patience to wait with a servant’s heart for you to grant us our deepest desire. In Jesus’ name, Amen...

God bless you.

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