Don’t go compare. What do I mean by this?
I don’t mean that you shouldn’t search for cheap car or home insurance. (UK readers will know which irritating series of price comparison website adverts I’m referring to here.) By all means, compare prices for different products to get a good deal.
When I say don’t go compare, I’m talking about some of the other things in life. The bigger things of life, some of which we can put a price on, and some of which we can’t. Things like houses, cars, jobs, careers, opportunities, spouses, children, and whatever else we end up putting on our escape fantasies. Don’t go compare things like this, because it will make you angry and embittered.
One of the biggest causes of misery I see in other people (and, truth be told, that I also catch myself doing) is looking at someone who seems to have more, and becoming jealous. This person has a bigger house than me, or a better car than me. This person seems to be getting more opportunities than me. This person has more friends/ is more popular/ is more gifted/ has the lifestyle that I have always wanted. When we compare ourselves with others, we can always find people who have more than us, so we become jealous, bitter and miserable.
So don’t go compare. The truth is it doesn’t matter what someone else has. We all have our different races to run in God’s sight. Concentrate on doing the best you can in your race, on running in your own lane, rather than trying to run in someone else’s.
But if the temptation to compare is so great, or the habit has been with you for so long that you can’t bring yourself to give it up, try this; compare downwards. Just as there will always be people who seemingly have more than you, you can be sure that there will always be people who have less than you. On a global scale, there are probably far too many people who don’t have what you do. If you need to compare, then compare yourself with them.
Doing that will help you realise how much you do have. And when you see how much you have been given, hopefully you will become grateful.
Mark Williamson works as a director of One Rock. He’s an experienced leadership trainer, author of biographies on John Wesley and William Wilberforce, and is also passionate about praying for London. He enjoys good films, good food, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna. You can follow him on Twitter @markonerock.