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  • Writer's pictureRenikko Bivens

Rising Above Comparison: Embracing Your Identity in Christ

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

You are not alone if you have ever experienced the crushing weight of comparison and the suffocating feeling of falling short. When we look around us and evaluate our lives against those of others, we inevitably feel inadequate. Yet, Christ gives us a self-worth distinct from the world's values. To overcome the temptation to compare ourselves to others, we must affirm our worth in Christ and accept ourselves as He made us.

Comparison & Identity

Comparison is measuring yourself against others, which can lead to feelings of not being good enough or feeling like you're better than them. Rather than appreciating our strengths and qualities, we tend to dwell on our shortcomings when we compare ourselves to others. The onslaught of constant comparison can damage a person's sense of self. At the very least, we can question our value and worth, thinking we don't measure up to others. Feelings of insecurity, low self-esteem, and even depression can result from this.

Christian beliefs hold that every person is made in the likeness of God and has intrinsic worth and value, which makes comparison especially harmful in this context. When we look at ourselves through the lens of others, we effectively reject the unique identity God has given us in favor of trying to fit in with someone else's ideals. Recognizing that our worth and value come from our relationship with God rather than from our accomplishments or the approval of others is essential in overcoming the spirit of comparison and embracing our unique identity in Christ. We can start by praising the unique abilities and skills God has given each of us rather than dwelling on our flaws.

The Enemy's Lie: Comparison

The spirit of comparison is one of the enemy's primary tools for making us question our value and worth in Christ. The adversary constantly belittles us, convincing us that we are inferior to others in terms of intelligence, talent, and success. These falsehoods can do the most damage when we compare ourselves to other Christians, especially those who appear to have a more fruitful ministry, a more profound prayer life, or a stronger faith than we do. It's possible to start doubting our sanctity as Christians if we consistently fail to meet their expectations.

However, it is essential to recognize that comparison is a trap set by the adversary to divert our attention from God's truth. We are all members of one body in Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31), with different gifts and callings, and the Bible tells us that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Our focus should be on the good works God has prepared for us to do, not on how we measure up to other people (Ephesians 2:10). The truth of God's Word and a reminder of our true identity in Christ can also help us fight the lies of the enemy.

Uniqueness in Christ

Understanding and accepting who we are in Christ is crucial to thriving as believers. As our faith in Christ deepens, He reveals more of His unique abilities and calling for us. Instead, we can celebrate our differences and realize that each member of the body of Christ has a vital role in advancing His kingdom. How God has wired us, whether for leadership, teaching, service, or something else entirely, we can use our strengths for His glory and the good of others.

It's also important to realize that our uniqueness in Christ goes beyond our talents and callings. Christians have a new identity in Christ, one that is not based on their sins or their achievements in this world. Instead, we are shaped by the love and acceptance we have received from God. Taking pride in who God made us to be in Christ can be a radical act of faith in a world that prizes sameness and uniformity. However, as we give ourselves over to Him and let Him do His work in and through us, we can find a deeper sense of meaning and satisfaction than the world can provide.

How To Overcome Comparison

Being able to reject the temptation to compare oneself to others and instead embrace one's unique identity in Christ is a spiritual battle that requires deliberate effort and a reliance on God's strength. Some concrete actions to avoid comparison are as follows:

  • Recognize the harmful effects of comparison. Be aware of how comparison is affecting your life and how it is limiting your potential. Know that comparison can take away your joy, peace, and feeling of being content.

  • Turn your attention back to Christ. Instead of thinking about what others have done, think about what Christ has done. Spend time in prayer, worship, and reading the Bible to remember who He is and who you are in Him.

  • Recognize and appreciate the unique qualities God has given you. Change how you see your qualities and flaws and accept them as a great part of who you are in Christ.

  • Develop an attitude of gratitude and focus on the good things in your life instead of what you don't have. Pray for contentment, and remember to thank God for the blessings in your life.

  • Embrace a supportive community of believers to help you on your spiritual journey. Surround yourself with positive influences. Meet people who share your interests and learn from those who have gone before you.

  • When negative thoughts of comparison arise, combat them with truth from God's Word. Remind yourself of who you are in Christ and His plan for your life.

It is necessary to keep in mind that overcoming the spirit of comparison is a process that requires time and effort. But with God's help, you can find freedom and happiness by embracing your unique identity in Christ.

Embracing Our Identity in Christ

In Christ, who we are is not determined by our works or the praise of others but by our commitment to Him and His will for our lives.

The following are several ways to embrace our identity in Christ:

  • Know who you are because of Jesus: Put in some time learning who you are in Christ through Bible study. Key passages: include 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 2:20, and Colossians 3:3-4.

  • Recognize and use your strengths: Recognize God's gifts and talents and use them to serve others. As members of Christ's body, we each contribute something special to the whole.

  • Be kind to yourself: Treat yourself with the same love and compassion Christ has shown you. Forgive yourself when you make a mistake or fall short, and give yourself a break.

  • Have faith in God's purpose for your life. Have faith that God has a plan and a purpose for your life and will direct your steps as you work to achieve that plan and purpose. That involves letting go of control and believing He has your best interests in mind when He alters your plans or desires.

  • Seek godly counsel: Surround yourself with believers who can offer insight and direction on your faith journey. Seek role models who can help you develop a deeper faith in Christ and learn to respond to criticism maturelyRemember that embracing unity in Christ is a process that takes work on our part and relying on God's strength. The fullness of life He intends for us can be ours as we pursue a deeper understanding of Him and His will.

Conclusion: Unique & Valued

Finally, remember that we are all on our own paths and have different abilities and experiences. Because of Christ, we can stop trying to measure up to other people and accept who we are. It's important that we give credit where credit is due and acknowledge God's handiwork in the lives of those around us without letting that divert our attention from God's purposes for us. As Christ's followers, we must encourage one another in our spiritual growth.

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