How Comparison is the Enemy of Gratitude

How many times a day do you tell yourself that you aren’t good enough or don’t have enough? How many times a day do you thank God for the ways that you have been blessed?

The quickest way to ingratitude is to compare yourself to others. When you spend more time looking at what others have rather than enjoying and giving thanks for what you have, you’ll find yourself falling deeper into vice and dissatisfaction. Instead, make a conscious effort to avoid coveting the possessions, blessings, and good fortune of those around you. 

The quickest way to ingratitude is to compare yourself to others.

It’s dangerously easy to get sucked into the lie that others have more, are more virtuous, have a deeper faith, have better-behaved children, bigger homes, or happier lives. This is a lie from the Enemy to tear your attention away from the many blessings that you have been given. Don’t let him pull you into this never-ending torment.

One of the most dangerous places for comparison is social media. Of course, we all share the most beautiful, joyful, funny, and picturesque moments of our lives. Most of us keep the messy, frustrating, or devastating parts to ourselves. But when all we see of one another are the most Instagram-worthy photos, it’s common for us to wish we had the family, home, car, vacations, beauty, talents, or wardrobe of our acquaintances. In fact, when we see only the very best, we fall into the lie that everyone else has a happier and less difficult life than our own.

Clearly, we know that all of this is untrue. Not one of us is immune to the pain, suffering, and difficulty that life brings. No amount of money, beauty, or talent can protect us from the consequences of sin in the world. But there is an antidote to comparison and you guessed it, it’s gratitude.

Spend time every day considering the good things you have been given from God. Not just the material things, but faith, health, life, talents, and loved ones. You might not have everything, but you do have something to be thankful for. Allow yourself to find joy in the small things and savor the little moments that others might overlook. Take a deep breath and look around—you will find many things to thank God for.

Take a deep breath and look around—you will find many things to thank God for.

Another way to increase gratitude is by remaining close to the Sacraments. Did you know that the word Eucharist is derived from a Greek word meaning “thanksgiving”? And the Holy Eucharist itself is a huge blessing to thank God for!

Is being a grateful person easy? Not always. But is it worth the trouble? Absolutely!

Coming from someone who struggles with the comparison game, this is just your friendly Thanksgiving reminder—avoid comparison, tear yourself away from social media, and look beyond yourself. Remain close to Christ in the Holy Eucharist and take time every single day to thank God for everything you have, both big and small. Happy Thanksgiving!

Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.