Compared to what?

“The fastest way to kill something special is to compare it to something else.”

Craig Groeschel

Do you remember that thing that you dreamed about forever, saved up for years? Perhaps it was a new car, a new house or a new apartment. Maybe it was the new role at your work or a job at a new company, or even a new relationship. It was SPECIAL!

Then something happened. Somehow that thing that was bright and shiny and special lost its luster. It wasn’t special anymore, in fact, it became just like everything else, just a part of the background of life and a new bright shiny object took its place.

Why does this happen? How does something that at one time is very special and pursued become something that is easily put aside and taken for granted? Teddy Roosevelt said that “comparison is the thief of joy” and he was so very right. The minute we take the thing that is special to us, and compare it to what others have, or we think that they have, our own thing becomes tarnished. The more we compare, the darker the tarnish becomes.

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians that, “But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” 2 Corinthians 10:12

How do we ensure that we focus on the gifts we have, and not get lost in the comparison to what we think others have? How do we ensure that our gratitude is focused on the gifts and blessings received? There will always be a desire for more, for new, for something better, and at times that can be okay, but only if you are comparing within and against yourself and not to others.

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