Comparison can steal our joy. It diminishes who we are in Christ and the blessings God has given us. It can rob us of understanding our identity and embracing our destiny because we are too busy wishing for someone else’s life. It’s a trap that we easily fall into in our culture and too often becomes the measurement of how we feel about our lives.

We are so loved and accepted by Jesus, no matter what we’ve done, and no matter what has been done to us. He came to set us free from all the sin and shame - walls, masks, labels, pressures and comparisons that distract us from our own journey and keep us from walking fully in His promises.

I grew up in a suburb where there was a lot of pressure to measure up, even in the church. For so much of my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood I felt less than enough. There was always someone better looking, more talented, smarter, more capable…more. I compared, measured, and tried to prove myself. It was tiring. Exhausting, really.

Living in the comparison cycle is exhausting, and more importantly, it is not the abundant life that Jesus came to give us. Have you ever measured your life in light of what someone else’s appeared to be on the outside? God’s heart for us is that our identity is so sealed in who we are in Him that we don’t feel the need to compare ourselves to anyone else and that we would not wish for any other life than our own.

Read Psalm 139.

Verses 13-16 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

God’s character goes into the creation of every person. When we were in the womb, God saw us. He sees us in the hidden places. He knew all of our days before we drew a breath. What if you began each day declaring that you are fearfully and wonderfully made by your good Father? How would that affect how you view yourself and your life? How would that change how you view others?

When I experienced how fully known I am - and loved - by Jesus in my darkest days, I began to understand  how real His love is for me - for all of us. Intimacy with God and confidence in His unique plan for your life will bring deep satisfaction to your soul and confidence, joy, and strength for your personal journey. This world needs you to be you – the you God created for this time and space.

Have you ever compared your life, looks, job, kids, marriage to that of another? How can comparing derail us from our own destiny? What would it look like if instead of comparing we refocus our attention to our Father and stand on the truths in His word about who He says we are?

Holly Newton is the Exhale Women Visionary. Read the story here. You can connect with her on Instagram