In my early twenties, I worked for Academy Sports and outdoors. I worked every department and even worked as a cashier. At one point, I had to learn how to look for and catch shoplifters. The manager taught me how thieves generally work and the proper way to stop them. The goal was to stop the thief and keep the goods for the good of the company.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And he was right. When we compare ourselves to others, we lose sight of our own purpose… and talents… and value.
Were you to stand beneath the Space Needle in Seattle… or the Empire State Building in New York and look at a nearby one-story shop, you might think the shop is of no value. But the shop meets the needs of people just as much as one of the taller buildings… only in a different way.
The same is true in our lives. When we compare ourselves to others, we only see their value and not our own. But we each serve a valuable purpose on this planet, and we should not discredit our own personality, style, etc. simply because we don’t look like, sound like, dress like, serve like someone else. Doing so only lets comparison become the thief of our joy… and get away with the goods.
God was way ahead of the curve on this one when He presented the concept in the Ten Commandments that we should not want what isn’t ours. When we compare who we are and what we have with others, we lose the joy of who we are and what we have.
So, don’t let comparison rob you blind. When you sense yourself beginning to compare and you see that thief trying to steal your joy, just quietly say, “Stop! Thief,” and take your joy back.