I don’t mean to do it. But sometimes it is so hard to stop. A few minutes in and my thoughts are engrossed in it.
It used to be easier not to think about, but now it seems like the internet and particularly social media has made it so much easier to get lost in.
The comparison trap.
Asking myself consciously or unconsciously “how is my life in comparison to others?”
Has this happened to you? It’s a common problem. In fact, it’s so common TIME magazine wrote an article about it.
So how do we overcome it?
We don’t. At least not on our own.
The only way out of this trap is to get an outside perspective. We need a new reality from an expert that transcends our subjective opinions on what makes for a good life. We need an objective answer to the question, “am I blessed?”
The Bible give us that outside perspective.
It tells us what kind of people are, in God’s eyes, objectively blessed. For example, here are 42 kinds of people the Bible calls blessed:
- Those whom God chooses. Ps 65:4; Eph 1:3, 4.
- Those whom God calls. Isa 51:2; Re 19:9.
- Those who know Christ. Mt 16:16, 17.
- Those who know the gospel. Ps 89:15.
- Those who are not offended at Christ. Mt 11:6.
- Those who believe. Lu 1:45; Ga 3:9.
- Those whose sins are forgiven. Ps 32:1, 2; Ro 4:7.
- Those to whom God imputes righteousness without works. Ro 4:6–9.
- Those whom God chastens. Job 5:17; Ps 94:12.
- Those who suffer for Christ. Lu 6:22.
- Those who have the Lord for their God. Ps 144:15.
- Those who trust in God. Ps 2:12; 34:8; 40:4; 84:12; Jer 17:7.
- Those who fear God. Ps 112:1; 128:1, 4.
- Those who hear and keep the word of God. Ps 119:2; Jas 1:24; Mt 13:16; Lu 11:28; Re 1:3; 22:7.
- Those who delight in the commandments of God. Ps 112:1.
- Those who keep the commandments of God. Re 22:14.
- Those who wait for the Lord. Isa 30:18.
- Those whose strength is in the Lord. Ps 84:5.
- Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. Mt 5:6.
- Those who frequent the house of God. Ps 65:4; 84:5.
- Those who avoid the wicked. Ps 1:1.
- Those who endure temptation. Jas 1:12.
- Those who watch against sin. Re 16:15.
- Those who rebuke sinners. Pr 24:25.
- Those who watch for the Lord. Lu 12:37.
- Those who die in the Lord. Re 14:13.
- Those who have part in the first resurrection. Re 20:6.
- Those who favor saints. Ge 12:3; Ru 2:10.
- Those who are undefiled. Ps 119:1.
- Those who are pure in heart. Mt 5:8.
- Those who are just. Ps 106:3; 10:6.
- Those who are the children of the just. Pr 20:7.
- Those who are righteous. Ps 5:12.
- Those who are the generation of the upright. Ps 112:2.
- Those who are faithful. Pr 28:20.
- Those who are poor in spirit. Mt 5:3.
- Those who are meek. Mt 5:5.
- Those who are merciful. Mt 5:7.
- Those who are bountiful. De 15:10; Ps 41:1; Pr 22:9; Lu 14:13, 14.
- Those who are peace-makers. Mt 5:9.
- Those who are holy mourners. Mt 5:4; Lu 6:21.
- Those who are saints at the judgment day. Mt 25:34.
Now you might be tempted to think that most of this list doesn’t apply to you. And based on your own merit, you’d be right.
But if you’re a follower of Jesus, you’re in luck. In Jesus Christ, and through Jesus Christ, and because of what Jesus Christ has done on your behalf, you are (in the eyes of God) every one of these kinds of people.
Therefore in the eyes of God you are truly blessed.
Because this status comes from God it can’t be changed. Because of your relationship to Jesus, it is your permanent condition.
We might not feel it. But that is only because we are so accustomed to using our own standard for what makes us feel blessed.
Our feelings will change when we accept that what God says about us is really true. And when we do, we we will be free from the addiction of comparing ourselves to others. We will be free from the comparison trap.
May we embrace our God-given status of being blessed today!
The list is adapted from: R. Torrey’s. The new topical text book…. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Bible Software (2001).