Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Destructive Game

Name of the game: Game of Comparison.
Rule of the game: The player should look not only as good as the other person, but better.

All of us have played this game at one time or the other. So, why do people play this game? Some of the reasons may be:

1. The world focuses on external appearances so people strive to be well-known, good-looking, have all those bling-bling that make them stand out above all the rest. People forget that what is more important is the inner person. "For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal". However, since the world pays more attention to outward appearances, people begin to use comparison as a measure for success. To be well-known and appear successful, one must keep up with the Joneses.

2. Self-centeredness. As such, people aim to be the creme de la creme.

“Rewards” of the game?
1. One loses self-esteem.
Remember this passage from "Desiderata", "If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than you are."

2. Comparing oneself with others will destroy one's contentment.
As long as we're striving to have what others have, to be what others are, we will never be satisfied with our own lives; for contentment comes only when we stop comparing."

3. Unhappiness.
One develops hatred toward other people, especially those who are better than he is. One's relationship with God and other people are affected. When one becomes bitter, one starts to question God and forget to appreciate His plan for us. And because one wants to be above the rest, one becomes envious and angry to those who are better than he is, thus, destroying one's relationship with other people, even one's friends and family.

How to Win the Game:
*Instead of looking at other people, and being envious with what they have, one should look upon God. Why crave for more? Earthly possessions and outward appearances don’t last.

*If one cannot control one's destructive comparison, one must turn to God for help. Tell Him about one's feelings of inadequacy. Kay Arthur in her devotional, "Teach Me How to Live" said, "If you feel as if God has forgotten you, then ask Him if He has. If you feel as if your enemies- be they physical, emotional or spiritual- have overwhelmed you, ask Him why. Pour out your soul to God. Don't let your mind, your emotions, and your will cower in the corner of an unlocked cell."

*Cultivate a grateful spirit. Despite our shortcomings, inadequacies, there are plenty of things to be thankful for – everyday.

Instead of destructive comparisons, let's compare ourselves with the person that we would be if we are obedient to the Word of God. I think that's the only comparison worth making.



We each have our own cup to fill,
our own pace to follow.
There is no need
for me to compare myself
with others because I am a unique individual.
I recognize that we all have our wounds to deal with,
but I must go through my
own process


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