No one can be a better you than you. No one has had your set of life experiences to shape you into God’s distinctive purpose. Everything from your accolades to your addictions comprise who you are and who, by God’s grace, you are destined to become.
Nothing robs us from this truth more than the comparison trap so predominant in our culture. I’m not as successful as him, not as pretty as her, not as spiritual as……you know what I mean. I love how C.S. Lewis describes what life might be like among people in a less bent world in the first of his Space Trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet. The three main “creature groups” who live on the fictional Mars—although vastly different in appearance, lifestyle and purpose—regard each other with genuine appreciation. They derive their security from knowing their Creator has made them to be who they are, not someone else. And they thrive. Oh that we might grasp that principle.
Comparison with others causes us to view life on a curve. How we see ourselves depends upon where we fit in relation to those who do better or do worse. Not a lot of liberty to fail. Or to walk in selfless love. Or to value our assignments. God did not intend for us to live such constrained lives.
Freedom lies in coming full circle: not only in resisting comparison to others, but in not thinking of ourselves at all. Lewis writes that the “unsmiling concentration upon self is the mark of Hell.” So the next time you find yourself in the defeating throes of comparison, remember who and whose you are. Your Creator not only loves you, but he likes you…or he wouldn’t have made you in the first place.
Forget about Bob…. Forget about Mary….But most importantly, forget about yourself….and go about the essential work of just being you.