I discovered comparison when I was in third grade. For most boys at that age, comparison begins with biceps, friends, arm wrestling, foot races, free throw competitions, grades, and eventually, girlfriends.
As we grow up, or at least grow older, the lists look different, but the comparisons continue. For the most part, they continue in close quarters. Comparison almost always happens with those we are most similar to.
And so pastors consider their church against another pastor's church. Musicians listen to, and look at, other musicians. Athletes compare themselves, not against electricians or lawyers, but against other athletes. Follow that progression and you realize that yes, even parents, are no exception to this dangerous game.
We live in an increasingly competitive culture, so comparisons come easy, if not encouraged. Our sin tempts us to take our eyes off of our own children, and instead, compare them to the progress or performance of someone else's child.
So why is it so important to stop comparing?
Let me offer just a few reasons that are hopefully helpful to you (or us, as we can all struggle in this area):
1. It Reveals Either Fear and/or Pride
Peel back the mask, and what you will often find is that the true face of comparison is either a heart of fear or a heart of pride. Maybe even both. Sometimes we peek into the lives of others to see how we are measuring up. We look at the test scores, athletic accomplishments, or even the spiritual lives of another to see if we (or our children) are "enough."
[Read the rest of the article at For the Family.]