Do you battle with comparison?
Be honest.
It’s a struggle for most of us, isn’t it?
To one degree or another.

Either we can wrestle with thoughts of being better than people, or battling with fears that we are much less than others. We live in a world where we are saturated with media, social or otherwise, that is constantly trying to measure us up to someone else or something else – and that includes leadership comparison.

Comparing can sneak up on us when we least expect it. Maybe it’s someone else’s leadership position? Maybe wishing you preached, looked, and had someone else’s style or success? Why have they got an opportunity that you yourself long for, or feel you deserve?

Whatever the root or reason of comparison, it’s utterly toxic for our lives and utterly toxic for our leadership. It keeps us self-focused, rather than God-focused.

So how do we avoid co-operating with comparison in any form? How can we get free?

Here are 5 points of how to avoid the comparison trap in leadership.


Let’s talk about our battles with someone trusted. It can feel embarrassing to admit we are struggling with envy and pride but we’re all in this together and it’s really spiritually freeing to fess up. Fighting comparison requires having a clear picture of its presence in our lives. This means tackling the tough questions with someone trusted. Where did it come in and why? One of Satan’s biggest ploys is to make us think we are alone in our sin and struggle. This amplifies the pain of comparison, so let’s kill it with confession.


Let’s pay attention to the siren call of comparison, your inner and outer dialogue which often cries out… “I could never,” “I will never,” “If only I had,” “If I were more,” “If I could do.” Let’s catch this stinking thinking whilst it’s still in the distance and correct it with truth.

We also should take time to check our environment. If we’re in a comparison fuelled environment that either the environment needs correcting or we maybe need a different leadership environment.

Finally, let’s bring correction by building boundaries. For example, how we use social media. Since we tend to check our social media accounts in our downtime and during periods of self-reflection, mindless scrolling can leave us even more susceptible to getting caught in a comparison trap. Let’s be careful.


Let’s cooperate with God’s best. We can kill comparison by cultivating contentment – Phil 4:I says “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength”. This is about co-operating with Heaven’s plan, working with God not against Him. Let’s cooperate in Christ’s identity for our lives and not what the world wants to impose on us. Remember this incredible truth – there is no one else like you – you are uniquely and wonderfully made. Understand your worth in God.


Let’s celebrate the success of other leaders. Carey Nieuwhof says “Publicly celebrating the people you envy breaks the power of jealousy. So praise them”.

Remember we’re chosen to collaborate not compete. Chosen to cultivate not criticise, Chosen to bring confidence not comparison. If comparison is self-focussed rather than God and other-focussed, then how can we learn to be other-centred and champion others? Let’s push back on comparison with compassion for others and their ventures and visions.

In Philippians 2:2-4, the Apostle Paul reminds us to “make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Let’s bless, serve, give and submit to someone or something beyond ourself and beyond your own ambitions.


Finally, let’s call comparison out and call others up in whatever cultures we find ourselves. Regularly asking yourself the question – Am I, or are we, behaving in a way that fuels comparison or dissolves it? We should challenge any culture or action of comparison wherever we experience it.

When the Apostle Paul was challenged in his authority as a leader, he learnt not to fall into the comparison trap, but commented on those that did in 2 Corinthians 10:12…

“When they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding”

Friends, let’s not be without understanding.
We find our identity and purpose in Jesus alone.
To become like Him, and live as He would have us live in God’s world. It’s as simple as that. How do you avoid the comparison trap?
Look to God.
Look up.
Look to Jesus.
And let the truth of this old chorus become your reality and experience.

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in his wonderful face,
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.”