I once received a good reminder through my son: don’t compare one person to another.
Shon was frustrated as he was working on the skill of being able to get from his bed into his wheelchair, and from his wheelchair to his bed independently. In an attempt to encourage him, I made the mistake of saying that if author and speaker Nick Vujicic can accomplish all that he has without arms and legs, Shon can accomplish this. He promptly told me not to compare him to Nick, then I immediately admitted that he was right and apologized.
I’m so thankful God doesn’t compare me to anyone else! (Satan does, and I do it to myself, often seeing how far short I fall compared to other people I admire.) God just meets me at my level, shows compassion for my fears and frustrations, and gently encourages me to trust Him and just do my best. Then He strengthens and guides me one baby step at a time.
Another type of comparison that is not helpful is when I tell someone about my suffering and they say, “I understand,” and then launch into a description of how they have suffered more. (I have also been guilty of doing this to others.) One of the things I love about Jesus is that, when I complain, He just listens and let’s me vent. Then, when I’m done venting, He’s there to encourage and guide me. There are seasons for everything, including venting (or what I call pity parties). It isn’t harmful to have one now and then, as long as we don’t remain stuck in them. It’s like having a good cry, and then washing your face and moving on, with God’s help. God just keeps assuring me, “I’m here for you.” I want to be more like Jesus in how I relate to people.