The Trap of Comparison

photo credit: N

OK, Confession Time:

  • when the Kirkpatrick’s go on vacation, we plan our itinerary around stops at either CiCi’s pizza or artisan donut shops;

  • to avoid cleaning-up mealtime messes at home, we eat outside at the picnic table – even in inclement weather;

  • when it’s been a long busy day (or week), a dinnertime favorite is cold cuts, cheese, crackers, and dried figs!

I have a feeling that we’re not the only family with quirks and habits a little outside the norm : ) C’mon, feel free to share yours, too!

photo credit: Alexander

We all adopt and implement certain ways of doing things. You can read more about methods of that here. There are many reasons for our particular methods (e.g. our mothers did it, it has always worked well for us, our husband’s prefer it, our personalities, etc.). This is why every family has a unique family culture. This is also a main reason why we often fall into the trap of comparison.

Some of us are more vulnerable than others to fall into the trap of comparison. And I’ve found that there are seasons of life where this is true, as well. Sometimes the proclivity of comparison is rooted in envy or resentment, or maybe it’s ingratitude that masters our thoughts. But when these ungodly thoughts canker our hearts and consume our minds, criticism surfaces in our words. Ouch! These are those cringe-worthy moments we would so love to forget!

Needless to say, critical remarks are unproductive and unhealthy to all relationships. Our conversations are supposed to bring joy, encouragement, and comfort.

photo credit: Alexander

The goal of our daily living is not to compete with others. In fact, this is really just an all-too-effecive distraction of what we’re supposed to be spending our energies on each day.

Time for a heart-check? – Rather than disapproving and critical, are we approachable, affectionate? If so, maybe you know the joy of having a conversation with a friend that had a soothing effect on your own soul.

photo credit: Nathan

Recognizing the goodness of God’s gifts to us is a good thing to share, and discussing our way of doing things (methods) is appropriate, too – if we do so humbly and with graciousness. I often need to remind myself that this type of conversation should have no sense of flaunting. Preaching our methods or spreading anecdotes of our sisters and friends is harmful and destructive.

We need grace to bear and protect one another’s different ideas and methods. I’ve found that being reminded that my home and family belong to God, helps me keep a humble and content attitude before Him and others.

“You keep in in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

with love. Damaris