The trap of comparison and jealousy is real. We’re over here, living our best life, until Sister Do Gooder makes us realize we are doing nothing with our life. We prayed for five minutes while peeing alone for the first time all week (WHOO HOO), and then we see Mister Intercessor got up at five am and prayed for two hours, and suddenly that precious five minutes, is no longer enough. We killed it on a project at work, got kudos from the boss, but Captain Co-Worker got the promotion, instead of us, and now our skills and abilities don’t seem to measure up. We just made peace with the fact that we cannot go on vacation, but Instastory is reminding us that we shall never feel rested (or tan) again. The struggle is REAL IN THESE STREETS. Comparison can cause our internal triggers to go off as well. When I struggled with an eating disorder, as a young woman in my early twenties, walking into a room, without thinking everyone was focused on the size of my thighs, was impossible for me. I was convinced every one was sizing me up, and I wasn’t measuring up. Jealousy of other women who seemed confident, and at home in themselves, hindered my capacity to build honest relationships, where I could admit my pain points and character flaws. Mostly because I felt alone in my dysfunction. Seemed like everyone else was happy and healthy and whole, so how could I admit what I was going through? People would think I am weird, or crazy, or God forbid… Broken. Shame says something is wrong with us at our core, something that cannot be fixed – broken, and broken for good. Shame forces us to live with secrets. And secrets make us sick. We each have to break the silence in our lives, press past our image and our fear, and admit, that we’re not perfect. We are all human beings, with flesh and skin on – struggle is our common ground – and if we’d do more sharing with safe people (and creating safe space for others to share) about what’s really going on, we’d grow in freedom from fear, isolation and insecurity. Life is about navigating obstacles, overcoming disappointment and setbacks, as we grow in relationship. None of us are exempt from the measuring sticks of society, family, co-workers and executive teams, friends, enemies and even our own inner critic. I’ve discovered there is only one measuring stick that really matters: Love. My husband recently preached a message at our church, called the Trap of Comparison, and it blessed our socks off. I had to share it with you, if you’re a sermon person, because it’s full of wisdom. He makes the struggle relatable (you’ll feel so normal), and he gives practical insights on how loved we really are. He helps us see ourselves and others, in order to get out of that trap. There’s no win in comparison, my friend. We were created for so much more. Onward toward freedom, dear friend, we’re in this with you!