Let’s be real—I measure my accomplishments against those around me, especially people around my age. For example, it’s easy for me to start feeling behind in life or less-than-lovable when I see someone with the thing I long for—a relationship. I have friends who are engaged and married. They are looking to buy homes and talking about children. And I’m single, with no candidates to relieve me from this reality.

Side by side, I examine my story with theirs, and I see my failed relationships and their successful love. With every new engagement announced, I hear a nagging whisper, “you’ll never be loved.”


We All Feel Behind in Different Ways

It seems that everywhere I turn, there is someone exceling infinitely more than me with a new promotion at work, graduating from university with an impressive degree, or looking to buy a house in a price range that makes me squirm.

I begin to wonder why “they” got _____ (fill in the blank), and I got forgotten. I look at everything they are that I‘m not. I start to think that if I was a little less me and more like “them” (whomever that is), then I might have a shot.

And the downward spiral of comparison begins, causing me to dislike who I am and feel bitter toward the person I’m not.

Despite what you may think, comparison does not discriminate.

It doesn’t matter your job title, age, jean size, financial state, skin color, or relationship status.

Comparison creeps in when you see your friend post about her productive morning—you know the one where she got up shockingly early, went for a jog, fed her cat, ate a balanced breakfast, and got ready for work all before 6 a.m.—and maybe you struggled to simply get to work on time.

Or when you hear about your coworkers getting together a couple nights a week to watch new movies and play games, and you wonder why you’re not getting an invite. Comparison is like a thief that steals our joy, causes us to doubt our ability, and to question God’s plan for our lives.


Comparison in the Bible

In John chapter 21, Peter, a follower of Jesus, is told by Jesus what kind of death Peter would die (v.19). After this, Peter responded the way I think most of us would in this situation.

Peter looked at another disciple, John, and asked Jesus, “What about him?”

Peter and John spent a lot of time together. They were both disciples of Jesus. More so, they were a part of Jesus’s inner circle of friends, which consisted of Peter, James, and John. Jesus quickly silenced the voice of comparison in the story in John 21 with one sentence: “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me” (John 21:22 NLT).

When our eyes shift from the plan Jesus has for us to that of others, he has a kind, yet firm way of reminding us to focus back on him.

It’s like when, as a kid, I would follow my mom closely when we would go to the store . . . until we got near an aisle that captured my attention. Then, I was off on my own gazing at all the things that I would later try to convince my mom that I needed. I quit following my mom to stare at something that wasn’t mine to have. Sound familiar?


How to Stop Feeling Behind in Life

When comparison captures our attention, we tend to stare at all the things we don’t have. Our call to serve God where we are at, with the talent he has given us, no longer fulfills us because we stop to stare longingly at the steps of others.

Why don’t I have that relationship? How come I’m facing health issues, and they were healed? Will I ever get a promotion?

I’ve asked myself these questions, yet Jesus reminds me that I have gone from focusing on the plan he has for my life to quietly comparing and it’s taking from me. Like a gentle nudge, he reminds me to follow him. Not with someone else’s gifts, talents, or circumstances, but with my own. And not with their life, but mine.

Jesus’s words to follow him are liberating because they set us free from trying to match the pace of those who seem ahead of us. We get to walk in step with Jesus, not play catch up with people.

I’m learning that I do not have every gift and ability under the sun, nor does my life match the timetable of others. But I’m finding that what I have to offer in this present moment as a young, single woman is valuable.

I get the honor to speak to 6th-8th grade students and share the message of Jesus on a regular basis. I meet with younger women for coffee and I have the privilege of encouraging them as they walk through loss, family struggles, and breakups. I kindly remind myself that my story wasn’t designed to be a replica of another person’s, but a reflection of God’s love.


Where You Are Now Is Important

Whether you are single or married, in search of a job, or leading a company, discovering a talent, or boldly operating in one, let me remind you that your gifts are essential, your voice is vital, and your life is an opportunity to reflect God’s love.

You can live this out by simply using the gifts he has equipped you with exactly where you are right now!

Don’t miss out by feeling behind in life, wanting to imitate what God has done through someone else.

Instead, let God do something new in and through you. Move forward, confident that he has started something good in you—yes you—and he will see it through.

I love the words of Peter in 1 Peter 4, when Peter encouraged people to serve God well with the gifts and talents they already had within them:

“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen” (1 Peter 4:10-11, NLT).