Comparison is a cancer that will steal your joy and rob you of the peace God has for you. As the Bible says, “A heart at peace gives life to the bones, but envy rots the bones.” (Proverbs 14:30)
If we traced the cancer of comparison all the way back to its roots, we’d find that the first critical misstep is when we move our eyes. Hebrews 12:2 gives us a clear command, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” That makes sense. As followers of Jesus we’re called to keep our eyes on the one whom we’re following.
If you look at the Old Testament relationship between King Saul and David (told in the book of 1 Samuel), you would see a textbook case of the downward spiral that the comparison trap can cause. Saul tried to kill David several times out of jealousy (1 Sam. 18-19). Because of his inability to get out of the comparison trap, Saul ruined his relationship with his own children (1 Sam. 20), his closest followers (1 Sam. 21-22), his people (1 Sam. 23), and God (1 Sam. 28). But what was that first misstep? When Saul moved his eyes. Go back to the beginning of their relationship, after David had killed Goliath and become a household name in Israel.6 When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres. 7 As they danced, they sang:
“Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”
8 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?” 9 And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David. 1 Samuel 18:6-9
We’ll miss the prize if we move our eyes. The Comparison Trap begins when we take our eyes off of Jesus and begin to find our worth, our happiness, our contentment by looking to the right and to the left. Don’t fall into the Comparison Trap!