Have you been comparing yourself?

Hi, I’m Shannon and I’ve been a Comparison Girl for as long as I can remember. Literally, my first memory at age four, is of feeling embarrassed because others saw that I could not read. Oh, the humiliation!

It seems silly now. Why was I so worried about being exposed as an illiterate preschooler? Yet some of my current struggles are just as absurd. Why do I worry about being exposed as a less-than-perfect mom? Or a middle-aged woman who struggles with her weight? Or a Christian who still sins?

My constant efforts to prove that I measure up (or hide when I don’t), aren’t bringing me freedom or joy. Here’s what does: Learning to compare like Jesus does. I hope you’ll join me for this six week study of “Lessons from Jesus on Me-Free Living in a Measure-Up World.”

Is this the first time we’ve met? Welcome! If you have more questions about me, come visit my “about me” page! 

Do you compare yourself?

 

On social media, in the neighborhood, at church, or the school drop-off lane, do you drive yourself to prove that you measure up? Do you feel ashamed when you don’t? Measuring yourself against others isn’t healthy. And it isn’t God’s plan. In fact, the way of Jesus is completely upside down from this measure-up world. He invites us to follow him and be restored to freedom, confidence, and joy.

Join me, as I share what I’ve discovered about my own measure-up fears and get-ahead pride. In this six-week study, we’ll explore the conversations Jesus had and the stories he shared with people who—like us—were comparing themselves.

Let’s leave measure-up comparison behind and connect with those around us by choosing Jesus’s me-free way of living: lifting others up and pouring ourselves out!

“Comparison. We all fight it. But for many of us, it feels like we are losing the battle. Why? Because what we need, to combat comparison, is not simply the knowledge that it hurts us, but the tools to resist it, and that is exactly what Shannon Popkin has given us. With fresh insight, biblical grounding, and light-hearted humor, Comparison Girl offers practical steps for curbing this temptation. If comparison is your struggle, this book is your guide!”
Sharon Hodde Miller

Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher

If you struggle with measuring up. If you’re worried about what people think. If you dread someone seeing you in a less than ideal situation, then you’re human. We all struggle with comparing ourselves to others in some way. That means we all need Shannon’s honest and wise words on the pages of this book. I know I did and I’m betting you do, too!
Jill Savage

Author of No More Perfect Moms, No More Perfect Kids, and No More Perfect Marriages

Shannon Popkin has done it again! She has masterfully written another must read to speak to the struggles of our soul. Inviting us to look up and listen to the tender truths of God and learning to silence the lies of the enemy against us, Shannon shows us how to finally live freely in a cultural of continual comparison. For every woman who has an area of her life where she wonders if she is truly enough- here is your answer.
Erica Wiggenhorn

Author of Unexplainable Jesus: Rediscovering the God You Thought You Knew by Moody Publishers

Leader’s Kit

Now Available!

  • 6 Teaching Sessions, which correlate with the chapters of the book
  • DVD + digital downloads
  • One Comparison Girl book
  • One Journaling Workbook
  • Leader Discussion Guide

Each session is about 18 – 25 minutes long. Dive deeper into what Jesus teaches about the difference between comparison in the world and comparison in the Kingdom.

Sign up for leader updates.

Journaling Workbook

The companion Comparison Girl Workbook offers:

  • A place to record your responses to the Bible study and application questions at the end of each lesson.
  • Thought-provoking stories and journal prompts, which correlate to each chapter’s theme.
  • Space for taking video session notes, plus the printed verses and additional observation study and discussion questions.
  • Extra prayers, quotes, and verses to encourage you on your journey.
  • Available either as part of the Leader’s Kit, or as a separate purchase.

Get the Comparison Girl Bonuses:

This book is what I would consider a must read. That’s a lot coming from a 65 year old woman who has walked with Jesus for 47 years and is well read. Here’s the deal. This book caused me to face some things about my own comparisons and how I measure myself against others. It helped me call some unhealthy things out in my own life that I never stopped to realize or face. I am being transparent here because that’s how much I think this book can help any woman who compares with others, finds herself jealous or feeling insignificant or insecure. From years of women’s ministry, I think that might be a lot of us. Thank you Shannon for a remarkable message! (Review on Amazon.)
Debbie Alsdorf

Author and Speaker

Shannon Popkin helps us take a fresh and challenging look at the everyday mindsets we wrestle with. Showing us God’s higher ways straight from the life of Jesus, she calls us from our me-focused thinking to His kingdom-focused purposes. After this study and with the power of the Holy Spirit, I won’t allow those thoughts to stay around any longer. 
Lynn Cowell

Proverbs 31 Speaker, Author of Make Your Move

FamilyLife Today
with Bob Lapine and Dave & Ann Wilson

Do you remember the first time you felt like you didn’t measure up? I do. It was sixth grade camp, and I told the story here on the FamilyLife broadcast.

It’s not always comfortable to tell the world how I’ve struggled (and still do!) with feeling inadequate. My hope, in sharing about my own Comparison Girl journey, is to invite others to Jesus’s me-free living in a measure-up world.

Here’s the two-part broadcast:

Grounded
with Erin Davis & Dannah Gresh

Revive Our Hearts’s daily response to Covid-19 crisis is to remind us to be grounded in the truth of God’s Word. I’m delighted to join Dannah Gresh and Erin Davis to talk about the role of comparison in our current crisis, and how to respond like Jesus.

Moms in Prayer
with Lee Nienhuis

Are you feeling anxious and overwhelmed, as you get “back-to-school” updates from your school, church, and local governments? Join Lee Nienhuis and I as we talk about our illusion of control, the destruction that comes with comparison, and how to respond today with the uncertainties of tomorrow.

No More Perfect Podcast
with Jill Savage

Jill has been talking about this topic of comparison and perfectionism and how they divide us way longer than I have. She had some great things to add to our conversation as we discussed comparing in two directions–one where we come out better than someone else and one where we come out worse than someone else. When we compare “up,” we experience jealousy. When we compare “down,” we experience disgust.

Listen in and be reminded that when Jesus interacted with people comparing themselves, he never said, “Just stop comparing!” Instead He turns it upside down and invites us to the freedom and joy of me-free living.

 

Coming Alive with Jenn Hand
with Jenn Hand

Laugh with Jenn and I as we tell about our first impressions of each other (yes, we were both comparing), and compare our patterns of collecting coffee mugs – which are completely opposite. Plus we’ll talk plenty about Jesus and his unique way of comparing.

 

Compared to Who?
with Heather Creekmore

It’s really an author’s dread. You’re scrolling Amazon, and see a book on YOUR book’s same topic. But what about if your book’s topic is comparison?!
It will take some humility, but it COULD mean that you’re meant to be friends.
I so appreciate my new friend and fellow “Comparison Girl” Heather Creekmore. She’s the real deal, y’all. I love her heart for the LORD and her willingness to invite the “other author” onto her show that’s all about comparison: @comparedtowho
I hope you’ll love our conversation, and become a regular listener of “Compared to Who?”
GEMS Girls Clubs
with Cindy Bultema

It was a joy to connect with my friend Cindy Bultema at GEMS (Girls Everywhere Meeting the Savior), and talk about Comparison at Christmas.
 
You know, I so relate with the disciples who were always trying to elbow past each other, asking, “Who’s the greatest? How do I measure up?” But Jesus taught them to ask a better question.
The Love Offering
with Rachael Adams

I so enjoyed my conversation with Rachael, and I hope you will, too! Here are some quotes from our conversation:

  • “This desire to be in control and compare the things I can’t control overlapped more than I realized.”
  • “My heart seems to be bent toward pride and perfection and measuring up in the eyes of other people and it doesn’t lead to freedom and joy.”
  • “We’ve got to handle the problem with comparison before we even go over to the window.”
  • “He’s inviting us to adopt a me-free mindset. I’m not here to prove I’m better than you. I’m here to serve you.”
  • “When you’re feeling inadequate you want to retreat and pull away. The enemy attacks us in isolation. We need to get out of the corner.”
LIFE Today TV
with Randy Robison

It was a joy to join Randy on LIFE Today to talk about Comparison. I especially appreciated the opportunity to talk about our current political and social climate, and how Christians are not to “compare down” in self-righteous disgust or condescension toward those who disagree OR those who sin differently than we do.

Redefining Balance Podcast
With Jenny Stemmerman

On this podcast for Christian working moms, Jenny and I talked about comparison and the impact it has on the way we see ourselves and others. We also talked about the “race to the bottom” and the difference it makes when – instead of trying to prove that we’re the “hottest mess”, we choose to be humbly vulnerable with each other.

Martha & Mary Show
Listen in to our conversation for both Martha-types and Mary-types as I talk about comparison with my dear friends, Katie Reid and Lee Nienhuis.

Art of Friendship

With Kim Wier

There is something in us that wants to prove that we have more or are more. We want to measure up. So what does this do to our relationships? Is there any way to stop being jealous of a friend? How should I respond to demands of this measure-up culture?

Here’s my conversation with Kim Wier, where we talk about these questions and more.

Your Spiritual Game Plan
with Cheri Fletcher

Cheri invites us as women, to live out our true callings—which stay consistent, throughout all the seasons of life. Comparison and the desire to measure up distracts us from God’s purpose for our lives. But what if we approached comparison with me-free humility? Rather than having our eyes on ourselves, what if we entered a room of people, saying, “I’m not here to prove that I have more or am more. I’m just here to share what’s in my measuring cup. What God has given me.” That’s when we are most fee to be ourselves.

 

The Notice
with Susan Hoekstra

It was a joy to get to know Susan on my launch team and talk with her about leaning in and say, “Yeah, me too…” and share our both our feelings of inadequacies and also the secret enjoyment we have in outdoing others.

 

The Debbie Chavez Show
with Debbie Chavez

You can’t have a conversation with Debbie and not receive a little joy that spills over from her life. Listen in as Debbie and I talk about:

• how comparison is like a drug
• escaping comparison by listening to Jesus
• looking-down-your-nose comparison
• drowning-in-shame comparison
• comparing our physical appearances
• how serving changes the way we see others and ourselves

Christian Publishing Show
Overcoming Fear and Comparison 

If you’re a writer, speaker, or ministry leader, you’ve probably had to grapple with both fear and comparison as you’ve stepped out to use your gifts for God.

Listen in as my co-author Kate Motaung and I have a conversation with Thomas Umstattd Jr. Brought to you by the Steve Laube Agency.

Comparison Girl Launch Party
Special thanks to these 5 Endorsers, who each made an appearance at my online launch party to chat about comparison and you can find them at these places in the video.

Erica Wiggenhorn: 34:12

Alicia Bruxvoort: 48:39

Barb Roose: 1:02:09

Katie Reid: 1:17:15

Lee Nienhuis: 1:30:23

Comparison Girl Chapters & Quotes:

Author and dear friend, Shannon Popkin, expertly and biblically walks us through several markers and mistakes of living according to comparison in this measure up world and gently points us to a better way. Written with humor and brutal honesty, Shannon sheds the pretense and fights for her readers’ hearts with biblical wisdom, humility and truth. Comparison Girl is a must-read for this generation of girls and the next.
Lee Nienhuis

Moms in Prayer Podcast host, Speaker, and Author of Countercultural Parenting

With a humble pen and a bold honesty, Shannon invites us to look closely at our subtle “comparison game” and recognize the truth behind it— Comparison is not just a harmless habit; it’s an all-out attack on the life we’ve been created to live. Using the very words of Jesus, Shannon shows us how to trade the exhaustion of measure-up comparison for the exhilaration of me-free living. Get ready to wage war and take back the abundant life you were created to enjoy!
Alicia Bruxvoort

Speaker and Writer with Proverbs 31 Ministries

Comparison is a sneaky issue that can work its way into almost any situation. But is all comparison bad? Through her in-depth study of the Scriptures, Shannon Popkin reveals two sides to this prevalent issue: negative, sinful comparison and positive, biblical comparison. This book both convicted me of the sinful tendencies hidden in my own heart and encouraged me to view myself and others through the eyes of Christ.
Kate Motaung

Author of A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging

In a sideways-glancing, elbow-jamming, status-grasping culture, Comparison Girl supplies an upside-down approach to an age-old problem. Shannon Popkin exposes the crippling effects that comparison has on our forward-motion in the Kingdom, yet also demonstrates how healthy comparison can inspire us to rise and walk free. Discover how to exchange feelings of superiority for a lifestyle of service and feelings of inferiority for a lifetime of belonging.
Katie M. Reid

Author of Made Like Martha, speaker, co-host of The Martha + Mary Show podcast

Comparison Girl is a needed resource for today’s women. I love how Shannon takes us through comparison in Scripture, acknowledging how normal it is for us to compare, but also providing biblical principles for how to manage it and take our eyes off of others and direct them to Jesus Christ.
Brenda Yoder

Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Author, Speaker

“God is in control.” We say that, but sometimes it’s hard to believe it when the whole world seems to be coming unhinged.

In this episode of “Live Like It’s True”, I’m talking with military spouse, @beth.runkle.writes about a section of Sarah’s story that is hard to read. Abram has put Sarai in a vulnerable position and she’s taken by Pharaoh into his harem where she remains for months. Yet, by the end of the story, you’ll be more convinced than ever that God is in control.

Listen to: The Truth About God’s Control When You Feel Threatened {with Beth Runkle} on the Live Like It’s True podcast.

Whatever you face, be confident of these two things:

1. God is in control. 💕
2. That’s better than you being in control. 💕
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Ready to get the tools and community you need to Speak Up with confidence? Join me at Speak Up—a conference for Christian speakers and writers on July 11-13, 2024 in Grand Rapids, MI. Questions? I’d love to share more.

I’ll be speaking on “Instagramming Your Message” and “Creating with Canva.”

Here’s my affiliate link (or check my bio). https://bit.ly/3mTHWfq
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I remember how my heart burned when I first heard my friend Kelly talk about the Teach Equip group she had begun at her church. I wanted a group like that with all my heart—a group where women were trained to teach the Bible with excellence, they got to practice and receive feedback in real time, and they got to do so in community.

Last night we finished year one of the Grand Rapids chapter of Teach Equip. For eight months, we have stretched ourselves to exegete, not eisegete. We have wrestled good theses onto the page, and into our messages. We have challenged ourselves to arrange for tension and swish down the mountain (thanks @yanceyarrington - we have reduced this concept to a Zorro move!). And we have labored together in coffee shops and labs, then cheered one another after labs.

The result? Seven women who are more prepared than ever to teach the Word to other women in their local churches.

I couldn’t be more proud of these faithful seven. @cheyenne.graftingourfamily and I have grown so much, as their coaches. What a joy and honor. Thanks for creating this program @kellyneedham and @lindsayschottwatercolor !
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Refresh was so great! But if you missed it, I’m hosting an online version of the same event for small group leaders, women’s ministry leaders, etc. this Thursday! Drop a 💕 and I’ll send you a link.

Thanks to all the women who helped me put this together and served on the panel, made cookies, greeted, led… it was a team effort and so much fun.
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All my favorite people in the SAME ROOM! “Refresh” was such a joy. 50+ women from West Michigan gathered to connect, inspire, and encourage one another!

Thanks to the women who helped me set up, who led discussions, who brought cookies, served on our panel, and who CAME! It was such a sweet time together.

Thanks to @ourdailybread for this beautiful new book that I got to send everyone home with: Shaped by God’s Promises: Lessons from Sarah on Fear and Faith. 🌸

Pre-order your copy and register for Refresh online—June 13! (Drop a 💕 in the comments and I’ll DM you the registration details!)
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All my favorite people in the SAME ROOM! “Refresh” was such a joy. 50+ women from West Michigan gathered to connect, inspire, and encourage one another!

Thanks to the women who helped me set up, who led discussions, who brought cookies, served on our panel, and who CAME! It was such a sweet time together.

Thanks to @ourdailybread for this beautiful new book that I got to send everyone home with: Shaped by God’s Promises: Lessons from Sarah on Fear and Faith. 🌸

Pre-order your copy and register for Refresh online—June 13! (Drop a 💕 in the comments and I’ll DM you the registration details!)
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It’s almost time for REFRESH! I’m excited to be giving away copies of my new Bible study PLUS a dozen books from generous friends who have donated books for giveaways!

Registration is still open for REFRESH online (in person registration is closed). Link in my bio!
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Please come to "Refresh," an uplifting online leader event with practical tools + giveaways!

Link in bio for the event signup plus my free “Pray the Promises” download.

REFRESH is…
🌸For women’s small group leaders, Bible teachers, ministry directors, etc.

🌸Online, Thursday, June 13, 7:30–9 pm ET

🌸An opportunity to get practical tools, win prizes, connect personally and be spiritually refreshed!

🌸A celebration of my new Bible study “Shaped by God’s Promises”!

🌸Will you join us?

This week, I’m getting ready to host the in person version of this event! I’m so excited to welcome 56 Women’s ministry leaders/directors from 32 Churches in our area!!

Thanks to Tabby who spent the day with me, getting ready.💕
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Listen to the full conversation on “Compared to Who” with Heather Creekmore! 💕

Check out Comparison Girl for Teens: Thriving Beyond Measure in a World That Compares at www.conparisongirl.com
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Anybody else have an oldest child who is mom #2?

We love you @lpopkin98 ! And I think your brothers were pleased when you turned in your mom badge. 😉
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Day 3 | Pocket-Sized Mirrors and The Truth.

From Comparison Girl for Teens
#comparisongirl4teens #comparisongirl #teenage
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I took the photo with the books upside down so… here you go! Check out these fabulous new resources:

🌸Gospel Shaped Womanhood by Sarah Rice
🌸Parenting with Hope by Melissa Krueger
🌸Aging Gratefully by Heather Creekmore
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What are you waiting on God for? Available soon:

🌸Shaped by God’s Promises is a 6 week Bible study published by @ourdailybread.

🌸We’ll consider lessons on fear and faith from Sarah’s story found in Genesis 12-21. Consider how to be shaped by the promises of a God who is 💯 faithful!

Preorder now wherever books are sold!

Link in bio or go to www.shannonpopkin.com/promises/
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If you like digging in to the Bible and being encouraged by the truth, check out “Digging In” with @tistashcalvert from @prestonwoodwomen in TX. I got to be a guest and SO enjoyed my time in the Word with Tasha. You’ll love her too! ...

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From My Shop:

Are you exhausted by measure-up comparison?

 

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life Me-Free in this Measure-Up World 

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