Last but not least of the Five C Challenge, we’re focusing on… No Comparing. Here’s the definition.

Compare: to examine in order to note similarities or differences 

Now perhaps you’ve already noticed the obvious. Not all comparison is bad. It might actually be wise to compare the calories on the back of two boxes, or the reviews on two Christmas movies. But here’s the comparison we want to eliminate this Christmas season: the type that tries to take control.

Comparison that goes like this:

  • Look at the gifts your brothers got their wives…
  • Do you see anyone else at this party playing solitude on their cell phone?
  • Look at all the other houses on our street. They all have outdoor lights…

That last one is a true story.

I used to beg my husband to put up outdoor lights. I wanted them soooo badly. But he just didn’t see the point. Why risk your neck to raise your electric bill? he’d say.

Then when we moved into our current house, the previous owners gave us a box of Christmas lights and pointed to a diagram penciled onto the garage wall, showing which strand of lights should go on which roof peek.

I thought, Yesssss… now he has no excuse! At long last, our house would twinkle with Christmas cheer just like all of the others. I gushed my gratitude to the previous owners, but my husband just stayed quiet. Come December, I was confronted with the truth: He had no intentions of putting those lights up.

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Oh how I cringed at the conspicuous black hole which marked our spot on the street, that year. I pictured the previous owners driving by and shaking their heads with incredulous disgust, muttering, “We gave you lights and a diagram, for crying out loud. You couldn’t simply put them up?!”

When I brought my complaints to Ken, he said, “If they wanted Christmas lights on this house, they shouldn’t have sold it to me.” Ohhhh, I was mad. I used all of the Five C’s on my husband that year–especially “comparison”. It was a miserable Christmas.

Peace in the Darkness

We’ve now lived in this house for ten years and I have yet to see Christmas lights on our roof peaks. But those of us living below them are far more at peace, because I–the wife and mom–have chosen to stop using comparison to try and get control.

First off, it was a pointless tactic. My husband was (and is) never going to be one of those ladder-and-lights kind of guys. He’s just not. And does it really matter that we have no lights lining our roof? I am living proof that you can still celebrate Christmas with a dark rooftop! I’m also living proof that using using comparison as a coercion tactic only makes yourself and everyone else miserable.

Friend, if you’re pointing at a neighbor, a coworker, a sister, or your kids’ cousins–saying, “Why can’t you be like them?” stop for a moment and consider what you’re doing. Are you not trying to leverage shame, fear of man, or embarrassment to get what you want? None of these are godly motivators.

Comparison’s Not a Game

As I wrote in my book Comparison Girl (releasing May 2020), comparison is not a game. It’s a strategy of war, used by an enemy who wants to lead us into destruction.

Instead of spending the season looking sideways at your neighbor’s lights, your sister’s daughter, your kids’ cousins, or your friend’s boss…. try looking up.

The same God who was in control that first Christmas–coordinating everything from protecting Mary’s reputation to giving the shepherds Jesus’ birth announcement–is still on his throne today. Rather than sideways glancing, we should take some moments to gaze up with wonder into the still, night sky and reflect on all that we’ve been given.

Unto you, dear Control Girl, a Savior has been born. He is Christ the Lord! (Luke 2:11). He came to save us from our sinful comparing, criticizing, complaining, correcting, and condemning.

Lord, help me find the peace and joy that well up only in the stillness of a heart that is fully surrendered to You.

Friends, thanks so much for joining me on this Five C Challenge. I’d love to hear what God has taught you, and what affects you’ve seen as you’ve surrendered your words, this Christmas!

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