Ending The Comparison Game

Ending the comparison game in Youth Ministry

There will always be someone better looking… someone with more talent or a bigger budget… someone with better connections, a bigger salary, or someone with a bigger church… There will always be someone with a bigger office or a more successful ministry, and the reality is that we have a natural reaction to this reality.  Our instinctive reaction is to compare ourselves to these people.  We do!

In this article, I want to attempt to give you three reasons why we shouldn’t compare ourselves to other people (or compare our ministry to other ministries) and then give you practical ways to end the comparison game in your own life.

Why we shouldn’t compare:

1.  NOTHING IS EXACTLY AS IT SEEMS TO BE

Did you ever stop and think where these comparative thoughts are originating from?  Do you really think God is implanting these negative thoughts into your brain?  No, this is just another manipulative tool that Satan uses to distract men and women of God.  He will do whatever he can to prevent productivity for the Kingdom of God.  He’ll attempt to distract you, manipulate you and even cause a sense of discontentment in order to remove you from being maximized in your calling.

When you are comparing yourself to someone else or even another ministry, you first of all have to admit a few things to yourself:  1)  You only see the shell, you don’t see the core.  Just because something looks ripe on the outside doesn’t mean the inside is ripe.  2)  Just because the grass looks greener from a distance, doesn’t mean the field isn’t filled with weeds.  Weeds are naturally greener than grass and sometimes, our eyes stop after seeing the color without investigating why the field appears to be so green.  Don’t let your eyes trick you and lead you into self-pity; God has you where you’re at for a reason.  Take your time, investigate and make sure the field isn’t filled with weeds.

2.  THE COMPARISON GAME DOESN’T CHANGE WHO YOU ARE

We can strive to become someone else, but that doesn’t change who God made us to be.  You can impersonate someone to a “T” but when you do so, you’re robbing yourself of becoming the individual God created you to become.  Now, this doesn’t always have to be a negative.  I acknowledge people, ministries, churches, and even other Dad’s and husbands that do things way better than I do.  I watch them closely and even choose to emulate different things they do.  That can be a positive thing and ultimately make a positive difference.  But when we see the ‘comparison game’ leading us to negative thoughts & negative actions, that should be a red flag in our life that should serve as an indicator telling us that something is wrong.

Be you.  Life is a journey filled with opportunities to become greater, and it’s okay to glean wisdom from others, but don’t allow the comparison game to drag you down into a pit of negativity and self-pity.

3.  COMPARISONS USUALLY LEAD TO NEGATIVITY TOWARDS YOURSELF

When you constantly focus on how great everyone else has it, it typically leads to you focusing on how bad you have it.  The comparison game usually leads to jealousy, greed, envy and spite.  None of these things will prepare you as a leader to become maximized where you are, rather, they’ll lead your heart to negative places that will in turn prepare you for a quick exit.

So, how can I prevent myself from playing the comparison game?

  • RECOGNIZE THE SUCCESS AROUND YOU- It’s alright to recognize the success around you. It’s okay to glean from that their wisdom.  If you do so (in a healthy manner) you will grow and become a more well-rounded leader.
  • RECOGNIZE YOUR OWN LIMITATIONS- You can only do so much.  Don’t try to play God and position yourself to do something or become someone who He hasn’t made you to be.
  • MAKE PROGRESS TOWARD YOUR OWN GOALS- Don’t be so busy trying to become someone else that you forget about your own goals.
  • CELEBRATE WHO GOD MADE YOU TO BE- It should be a celebration when you consider the fact that God created you with a purpose in mind.  We may not be able to see the future, but He does, and I believe our God is capable to doing great things in and through each and every one of us if we’ll just trust Him for the outcome of our lives.
  • Read Galatians 6:4-5

Comments

  1. Ben Read says:

    Thanks for this Jordan, I loved the post. I think it would be awesome to see Youth Ministries celebrating the wins of each other together, and I know that in some local networks that happens, I just think its one of the hardest things for Youth Pastors to do sincerely, myself included, which is a huge shame.

  2. Ben Read says:

    Thanks for this Jordan, I loved the post. I think it would be awesome to see Youth Ministries celebrating the wins of each other together, and I know that in some local networks that happens, I just think its one of the hardest things for Youth Pastors to do sincerely, myself included, which is a huge shame.

  3. I’m involved in a local network that meets to pray and share life together. It’s awesome! I have other youth pastors encouraging kids to come to my church because it is closer or a better fit for them. And I do the same for them. It is awesome! Honestly, it hasn’t been easy for me to get to that place, because I’m not the biggest group involved, but God has been good in helping me see the beauty of churches working together. And now, when one youth group has a big win for the kingdom of God (instead of for my church or their church) we all can celebrate it together and mean it. Ridiculously cool!

    1. Ben Read says:

      Thats awesome Jesse! I would love to just have a Youth Pastors Network, let alone one that is Kingdom minded like yours sounds.

    2. jordaneasley says:

      Keep it up man.  It’s rare to see a Kingdom Minded, Kingdom Focused, Kingdom Driven community of churches.  It’s sad but true.  Keep setting the bar high so that other communities of faith can strive to get where you guys are.

  4. I’m involved in a local network that meets to pray and share life together. It’s awesome! I have other youth pastors encouraging kids to come to my church because it is closer or a better fit for them. And I do the same for them. It is awesome! Honestly, it hasn’t been easy for me to get to that place, because I’m not the biggest group involved, but God has been good in helping me see the beauty of churches working together. And now, when one youth group has a big win for the kingdom of God (instead of for my church or their church) we all can celebrate it together and mean it. Ridiculously cool!

    1. Ben Read says:

      Thats awesome Jesse! I would love to just have a Youth Pastors Network, let alone one that is Kingdom minded like yours sounds.

    2. jordaneasley says:

      Keep it up man.  It’s rare to see a Kingdom Minded, Kingdom Focused, Kingdom Driven community of churches.  It’s sad but true.  Keep setting the bar high so that other communities of faith can strive to get where you guys are.

  5. Gleaning from successful ministries instead of envying them!  Love it !

  6. Gleaning from successful ministries instead of envying them!  Love it !

  7. kolby milton says:

    Great post Jordan.  Something that needs to be said often.  We can be apart of the change.  Let’s celebrate what God is doing in other youth ministries.  I love it how you said to learn from each other.  

  8. kolby milton says:

    Great post Jordan.  Something that needs to be said often.  We can be apart of the change.  Let’s celebrate what God is doing in other youth ministries.  I love it how you said to learn from each other.  

  9. This is a message that is so, so, so needed in youth ministry. Celebrating others’ wins is the best first step to stopping the comparison game, because it breaks down all kinds of barriers, both in our hearts and between churches and youth pastors. Thanks for writing about this!

  10. This is a message that is so, so, so needed in youth ministry. Celebrating others’ wins is the best first step to stopping the comparison game, because it breaks down all kinds of barriers, both in our hearts and between churches and youth pastors. Thanks for writing about this!