Too often our view of ourselves deeply flawed. Rather than seeing ourselves for who we are we do so instead through a lens of comparison with others. That comparison creates a distorted view of ourselves: We see not who God made us to be but something different and someone different.
It is bad enough that we compare our own self worth against other people but we further complicate it by comparing our circumstances, positions, opportunities and wealth against those of others. These comparisons often create envy of others which directly leads to a lack of peace in our own lives.
Why are comparisons with others toxic for us? First because God uniquely made us as He wanted to, gave us the gifts He designed for us and a work to do that He created only for us (Ephesians 2:10). If we don't like who we are our argument is not with others around us but with God Himself. The problem is that God does not create anything but the best and it is only in embracing His purpose for our lives that we experience the greatest happiness and satisfaction.
Second, we tend to think that if we had the gifts, opportunities or wealth of others that we would be happy. Ironically, those we compare ourselves too are no less or more happy than we are. Their joy, like ours, depends on embracing the calling on their lives. And behind the good looking exteriors we all put up are issues struggled with, pain dealt with and their own set of challenges to work through.
Looking at our lives through the lens of the lives of others is like looking through a highly distorted window. No longer do we see who God made us to be with the gifting and purpose He designed for our lives but we distort our picture with what He intended for others. That distortion skews our thinking, robs our joy and more important sidetracks us from the role He uniquely designed for us to play.
Our joy and satisfaction comes when we embrace who God made us to be, how He uniquely gifted us and how He wants to use us. Try to embrace someone else's gifting and calling and we lose our joy (and it cannot be done anyway). Stop comparing and start embracing and we experience the joy of a life God made for us.
God has given us amazing, mind blowing gifts (Read Ephesians 1 and 2). One of those specific gifts is the making of the unique us (Ephesians 2:10) along with a specific mission in life. Embrace it, thank God for it and live it out and we will be the most joyful and satisfied of people. Distort all that by comparing ourselves with others and the joy and satisfaction is robbed.
Avoid the comparison trap. It will rob you of what God intended for your life.