Jealousy: Things to Remember When We Start Comparing Ourselves to Others
There has never been any real good that comes from comparing ourselves with others. In short, it is a lose-lose situation.
This is why social media is always dangerous to people’s mental health; there, you see what everyone is doing. But usually only the things they consider good enough to share with the world. Things that will be considered positive. However, it is easy to assume that their lives are all bright-colored jackets, fancy meals, and vacations. They have crises, too, like everyone else, issues that their social media posts do not usually cover.
“A 2018 British study tied social media use to decreased, disrupted, and delayed sleep, which is associated with depression, memory loss, and poor academic performance. Social media use can affect users’ physical health even more directly. Researchers know the connection between the mind and the gut can turn anxiety and depression into nausea, headaches, muscle tension, and tremors.”
Some people begin to ask themselves if they measure up with other people or are even worthy of talking about their own lives on social media or posting their photos.
But one of the primary problems is such comparisons are not even justifiable. This is because there are so many ways in which people either do well or bad. Some people are rich and famous but are unhappy and depressed. Some are happy and mentally stable but are very unhealthy in other ways. So when we look at other people, we see more than what their pictures show: we assume they are happy and well-rounded when they usually are not.
A healthier way to weigh yourself is to compare yourself with who you were yesterday and not who someone else is. Since you and only you are involved in exactly everything, you are. So many variables in other people’s lives are not the same as yours, so it makes no sense to compare yourself. So, you are the perfect person with whom to compare yourself.
Aside from the above, comparing yourself with others breeds the unhealthy vice of jealousy and self-loathing. Even if we believe we are doing better than those we compare ourselves to, we still sin by pride and arrogance.
Here are a few things we need to remember when we start comparing ourselves with others:
It is not your place to compare:
“When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” John 21:21-22
Comparing ourselves with others is a sign of weak faith:
“But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?” 1 Corinthians 3:1-3
Comparing is dangerous and brings chaos:
“The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get. But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other.” (Luke 18:11-14)
“Were jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” (James 3:16)
Comparison breeds discontentment and selfishness:
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” (1 Timothy 6:6-7)