Bible Verses About Comparison – The Thief Of Joy

Do you ever wonder why clothing and hairstyles change regularly? Or why a real estate agent will show you a house that is a little out of your price range?

The marketing industry knows that people often are discontent with what they have, comparing themselves to others. Almost nobody wants to be different or “less than.” But isn’t this trend bad for us in the long run? 

I want to share with you Bible verses about comparison. If you want joy, comparison with others will not get you there. 

What does comparison do to a person?

The reason we compare ourselves to others is that we all tend to not be content with who we are or what we have. It all began in the Garden of Eden and continues even today. 

Here is what can happen when you get caught in the comparison trap. You start having some of these feelings:

  • ungratefulness
  • envy
  • jealousy
  • discontentment
  • anxiety
  • prideful
  • arrogance
  • selfish
  • conceited
  • judgemental
  • timid
  • fearful
  • inadequate
  • insecure
  • wanting constant validation
  • unwilling to trust God

Do such things sound like assets or liabilities? The truth is that most people don’t like being around people who act this way. 

So the comparison game hurts us, and that is why God gave us Bible verses about comparison. God’s plan for us is good, but we can’t experience it when we are focused on ourselves or everyone else and not Him. 

Additionally, the person who measures themselves by others will lack spiritual growth.

Why is comparison bad for mental health?

We have seen in the list above that comparison can lead to anxiety, timidness, fear, feelings of inadequacy, and other harmful feelings. 

The longer we experience these feelings, the more ingrained they become in our lives. They become habits, turning into slave masters.

We become controlled by these feelings and have no joy. My friend, it is a horrible way to live, 

How does comparison ruin relationships?

The comparison to others also leads to being ungrateful, envious, jealous, proud, arrogant, selfish, conceited, and judgemental. It isn’t hard to see why relationships would not last when these attitudes exist.

This kind of person is looking out for themselves and no one else. They are full of what the Bible calls “selfish ambition.” They clearly have not been influenced by Bible verses about comparison.

Bible verses about comparison 

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” ESV

Part of the reason that we compare ourselves to others is so that when we become like them, we will get their approval. And in doing so we lose some of our own identity. 

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Romans 12:2a NIV

Comparison leads to conformity and God warns us about that. Comparison is a mind game that we can’t win. 

Photo of a stick person holding a big house and a small house in the other hand, and the caption, "People look at external things but God looks at the heart." It is taken from 1 Samuel 16:7, one of the Bible verses on comparison.
People look at external things but God looks at the heart.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” ESV

Comparison is all about “looking at the outward appearance.” It is about what name-brand clothes someone wears or what neighborhood they live in.

The thing is, on the outside, they may look happy, but inside is often a very different story. We can’t see their heart. God can.

“I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us” NLT

For some people, comparison leads them to be proud and arrogant. They see themselves as superior and expect others to realize it. God wants us to compare ourselves to His standards. In that way, we are all on a level playing field. No one stands higher or lower. 

“Judge not, that you be not judged.” ESV

Once a person begins to see themselves as better than others, it is easy then to become judgemental. They begin to think their ways of doing things are the best and everyone else should do the same.

Photo of a stick figure with a large house in one hand and a small house in the other and the caption, "Don't look with envy at your neighbor's house, or anything else that belongs to him or her." The caption is taken from Exodus 20:17 which is one of the Bible verses about comparison.
Don’t look with envy at your neighbor’s house or anything else that belongs to him or her.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” ESV

Comparison leads to ingratitude for what you have. Covet means to want what belongs to someone else. It is being jealous because they have it and you don’t. It makes you “green with envy.” 

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” ESV

It is a bit scary that comparison can snowball from jealousy to a life of crime for some people. They want so desperately to have what others have they go to great lengths to get it. 

“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’ ” NLT

Up to this point, we have mostly looked at Bible verses on comparison that talk about the things other people have.

Now we are looking at comparison to the person’s abilities and personality. When we do that we are telling God that He made a mistake when He made us. This is the God of the universe who has the power to create it and hold it all together.

It is mankind that has messed up what God made. Why do we think that we can blame that on Him?

“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.” NLT

God has given each of us a gift for doing work for the kingdom of heaven. We can’t expect to all have the same gifts as everyone else. Neither should we be chasing gifts we don’t have. It is OK to be unique in our purpose and calling. 

Photo a stick figure holding a big house in one hand and a small house in the other hand, and the caption, "Everything good in our lives comes from God." It is from James 17:17 which is one of the Bible verses about comparison.
Everything good in our lives comes from God.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” ESV

All the good things in our lives are from God, including our spiritual gifts. It is God’s love that makes Him shower us with so many blessings. 

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” ESV

In this Scripture, the Apostle Paul reminds us that gratitude is not an option but a command. When we give thanks for what God has allowed us to have and be, we won’t be comparing ourselves to others. Gratitude re-wires our brain and gives us happy hormones each time we engage in this simple activity. 

How do you overcome comparison

Photo of a stick figure holding a big house in one hand and a small house in the other hand, and the caption, "Don't copy the ways of those who do not love God. Instead, let him transform you." It is from Romans 12:2
Don’t copy the ways of those who do not love God, Instead, let Him transform your mind.

All change begins in the mind. It matters the things we read, watch, and listen to. A mental diet of social media and Netflix alone will not help us. 

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Romans 12:2a NLT

So just how does the renewal of our minds take place? It isn’t through our own work, though we have a part in it. Transformation comes through God’s word and the Holy Spirit living in us. Our part is to cooperate. 

With those thoughts in mind, here are practical steps to overcome comparison.

  1. First and most important you must be part of God’s family through a relationship with Jesus. 
  2. Be grateful that you are created in the image of God. 
  3. Take a break from social media and get into God’s word found in the Holy Bible and let it saturate your thoughts. 
  4. Learn what your spiritual gifts are and use them for the kingdom of God. 

This is the starting point to escape the trap of comparison. It is impossible to meet God’s standards if we don’t have a relationship with Him. Here are the words of the Lord Jesus, 

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV

If you don’t know Jesus, you probably have questions. The people at Chat About Jesus have answers. You can chat with them online from anywhere in the world.

If you live in the United States, you can call or text them. They are available any time of the day or night. 

You won’t need to compare yourself to others when you understand God followed a detailed plan when He created you and gave you unique gifts to accomplish His purpose. These Scripture passages talk about it. 

Genesis 1:26-27

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” ESV

Psalm 139:13-16

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them,    the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” ESV (From Bible Gateway)

Social media can be addicting. So taking a break may feel awful for a few days. You will feel a certain withdrawal. 

You may need help from an accountability partner, someone else who loves Jesus. But it will all be worth it to experience God’s blessings in your life, including breaking the comparison trap. 

Spiritual growth in this area is directly proportional to the amount of time we spend thinking about God’s word and how it applies to our lives. 

Part of the reason we compare ourselves to others is that we believe many lies about ourselves, others, and the world around us. In contrast, the Bible is the Word of Truth.

The more we read and think about Scripture, the more we realize it is full of Biblical affirmations just for our emotional insecurities and spiritual deficits. Faith affirmations help us challenge the lies and tell ourselves the truth. 

All Christians possess at least one spiritual gift. Many people have more than one. All gifts are to love and serve others.  Here is a partial list of the ones that are used in ordinary life. 

  • Service
  • Teaching
  • Exhortation
  • Giving
  • Leading
  • Mercy
  • Faith
  • Distinguish Spirits
  • Helping 
  • administration
  • Evangelism
  • Shepherding 

God gave you a perfect gift to fulfill your purpose supported by your natural abilities and talents.

Do you know what your spiritual gifts are?

If not, Lifeway Christian Resources has a free PDF that you can download with 80 questions to help you narrow down your spiritual gifts. Here is the link to the “Spiritual Gifts Survey”

A prayer to overcome comparison

O Lord, 

I realize I have not appreciated or been grateful for the way you made me and the good gifts you have blessed me with both physically and spiritually. I ask you to forgive me for these attitudes. 

I have relied on my own accomplishments when you intended to give me the power to live a life with purpose and meaning. I know that you intend for me to use my spiritual gifts to serve others instead of comparing and being envious. 

I know that You created me for good works so that I can shine the love of the Father on others. Help me to use my spiritual gifts to do that for the glory of God. 

I am so grateful that you gave up your own life so that I could have eternal life. Jesus, that is the best gift of all. Help me to have a heart of gratitude for everything you have blessed me with. 

In your name, Dear Jesus, Amen. 

You can download this prayer. It is a gift. No email is required. Here is the link.

Photo of a prayer taken from Bible verses on comparison.
Prayer based on Bible verses on comparison

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