It’s Narcissist Friday!
If I could kill any demon or evil spirit among the people of God, it would be comparisons. There must be a special evil that moves believers to compare themselves with each other.
Comparisons are never a right part of the family of God. None of us is better than another. None of us is less than another. All are completely dependent on Jesus.
It is the flesh that wants to compare. Our desire is to know ourselves. Apart from the Lord, we have only other people to help us see ourselves. We use other people as our mirror to tell us about ourselves. At the same time, the flesh is heavily invested in making us feel good. So, when we look at others, our flesh wants to see their weaknesses and inferiority. That makes us feel better.
But there is a curious thing about the flesh. Apart from the Lord, we cannot see ourselves as complete and good. When we look at others, we also see how they are better than us. If we think they have something more or are desired more, we envy them. We make ourselves feel worse.
Now, a lot depends on our upbringing, the environment in which we grew up. If you were raised with criticism, you probably see more negative in yourself when you look at others. If you were raised with praise, you may see positive in yourself when you look at others. Neither are good.
Comparisons always hurt you. They will never accomplish what you want. Here’s why:
First, comparisons are never of the Lord. They are a thing of the flesh. If you feed the flesh, live according to the desires of the flesh, you will not enjoy the Spirit’s blessing. In other words, you will miss what you should experience in the Christian life. Comparisons kill joy, peace, and security. The freedom you should have in Christ is sacrificed to the comparisons.
Second, you always lose when you begin to compare. Perhaps it seems obvious that you lose when you compare yourself negatively against others. But you also lose when you compare yourself positively. When you think of yourself as better than someone else, you close the door to the growth and change the Lord wants for you. Jesus had an important comment for those who judge others.
For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
Think about that. As you compare yourself favorably against others, others are comparing themselves favorably against you. That sets up a competition, a division, between you and others. You know this intuitively, so you begin to fix yourself, make yourself more desirable, superior. Again, your joy slips away. As you judge, you know you are being judged.
This is why the narcissist, who wants so badly to see himself as superior, must always struggle against comparisons. A great deal of narcissistic anger comes out of this constant battle in the mind and flesh. While looking down on others, the narcissist knows others are judging him. So, he lies and cheats and manipulates and abuses in order to look better to himself. As I have written before, the narcissist will cheat at solitaire just to feel better about himself. But he knows it is a lie, and it never satisfies.
Finally, the comparison competition never ends. There is no limit to the things that can be compared. You know this. The person who seems to have the best of everything still knows that others are better in some way. Comparisons are a consuming pastime.
So, let it all go. Learn to see yourself and accept yourself in relationship with the Lord who loves you. You don’t need to use others to discover yourself. You can find both welcome and freedom as you come to Him.
I have seen comparisons make people very unhappy. Please don’t let that happen in your life.