There is a game we as people like to play. I call it, The Comparison Game. We always look at others and wonder why we don’t have what ”they” have. Whether it is the awesome new phone they have or the promotion they just got or maybe the house they just bought.
For me, they can be anybody. It can be the stranger at the mall that I will never see again. It could be my best friend. It could be my co-workers. It could be my boss. I’ve been comparing myself to everybody else for as long as I can remember. Mainly because I’ve always wondered why the “bad” stuff always happened to me. When my mom was diagnosed as terminal, everybody else had a healthy mom. When my parents were going through their divorce and screaming at each other in the middle of the neighborhood, everybody’s else parents kept their fights inside the house. I always wondered why life hated me. I used to make a really awful joke in high school that my life was God’s soap opera. Something for him to laugh at. The things that came up in my life I couldn’t make up if I wanted to.
I played the comparison game because I wished for an easier life. I played the comparison game because I wanted to know what I was doing wrong that I kept getting all the junk thrown at me. Why can’t I just have something be simple? Why can’t something just be easy for me? Why does everything have to be complicated?
I look at my best friends and they have it easy. What are they doing right? What can I copy so that things will be easy for me? What can I mimic that will make things easier for me? Oh, this comparison game could go for rounds and rounds because when it comes to me and my best friends, there are a lot of differences. I’m also different in body type and I’m louder and more obnoxious and all sorts of personality traits different. Outside of how I think their lives are easier.
Now, these are my best friends. So I am assuming I know most of their struggles. The truth is, I don’t. I don’t know every single struggle they go through. I know some, but not all. I know I don’t call them up for every single thing I struggle with. If I did we’d be on the phone every night because I feel like I am driving that struggle bus.
The comparison game doesn’t work. We are not meant to live the same life as someone else. My calling is not the same calling as my best friend. Her impact on the world will not be the same impact I will have. If I am comparing my life to my best friend’s life, I’m trying to figure out why my life doesn’t look like something it was never meant to look like. It’s like trying to figure out why an apple doesn’t look like an orange. They were never meant to be the same thing. My best friend was put in my life to support me, do life with me and be in my village/tribe/whatever you want to call it these days. Just like I’m supposed to support her. I’m not supposed to compare my life to hers and wonder why we don’t have identical looking lives. We’re not meant too. God didn’t make it that way. Her gifts, talents and abilities are not going to look like mine and her life isn’t going to produce the same as mine will.
We both have the same goal though. We both want to hear “my good and faithful servant” when we get back home. What we should be comparing is whether or not we are both using our talents, gifts and abilities to serve God.
If we need to be comparing anything we should be comparing whether or not our goals line up with what God is calling us to be doing. Instead of looking horizontal-out into the world, we should be looking vertical-between us and God.