Hey, 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 humiliated because someone found out 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?

The constant effort to prove that I measure up (or try to hide when I don’t), does not lead to a life of freedom and joy. Here’s what does: learning to live me-free. I hope you’ll stick around and join me in learning these 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!

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

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

“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

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:

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

I just threw this puzzle in the trash (see my reel).

After using all the pieces in my box, a LOT is still missing—as you can see! Surely, my puzzle isn't supposed to look like THIS at the end.

All I know is: I've invested HOURS into a puzzle that has huge sections missing—which reminds me of my life.

I've spent decades laboring over the pieces and trying to create something beautiful—or at least “put together”. But here I am, with less “pieces” and big sections still missing—wondering what went wrong.

Anybody who can relate?

Some people just shrug and keep working on a puzzle they’ll never finish. Or they just live with the brokenness. But that's like gluing my puzzle with the missing pieces and calling it good.

What GOD called good was his original design in the garden—kinda like my puzzle’s box lid. And since God will restore the earth in the new creation, that’s what we (those who are in Christ) have to anticipate! One day the new creation will mirror Eden.

Now, I’m not suggesting you throw away your life, like I did with the puzzle. But maybe spend less time agonizing over the ways you’re still not “put together” and more time setting your mind on things above and on the “lid”—anticipating the day all will be put right.

#puzzle #puzzler #puzzlesofinstagram #puzzling #puttogether #missingpieces
...

38 5

Next time you have a 10 minute car ride, shutting kids or running errands, tune in to this episode of “In the Word, On the Go”!

I enjoyed talking with @thorntonchamp about a verse that portrays Mary as the exact opposite of a Control Girl.

https://www.wordonthego.net/226
...

17 1

So grateful that Christmas isn’t just a great story; it’s THE story that changes everything.

I’m so thankful that all three of my kids are choosing to be shaped by this overarching story of Jesus. Nothing else matters as much as this.
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On the podcast this week, I told a story about my son going from faucet to faucet, looking for hot water. But he wasn't going to find any, because all of the water in our house came from the same source.

It's the same in the world, right? People bring their empty bucket from faucet to faucet, not realizing that the source of everything they're looking for is GOD.

Don't miss an opportunity to talk about the One True Story this Christmas. Because Christmas is a time when people are a little more aware than usual of their deep emptiness. They notice their endless frustration—partly because they think Christmas should be the fullest time of the year. And it's painfully NOT.

As you interact with extended family, or attend parties, or connect with neighbors, how can you look for ways to make the true story of God relevant? That's what this bonus episode is all about.

#biblepodcast #livelikeitstrue #biblestorypodcast #biblereadings #biblereadingpodcast #readthebible #christianpodcast #christianpodcastsforwomen #newpodcast #christianpodcastcommunity #sparkmediapodcastnetwork
#encouragement #podcastsforwomen #storiesofjesus #truebiblestories #truestory #biblediscusstiontopics #biblestudy #thestoryofthebible #beastoryteller #storyofthebible #dgroup #smallgroup #storying #sharethestory #onetruestory

https://www.shannonpopkin.com/2021/12/18/e10-bonus-stirring-souls-with-the-true-story/
...

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How can you stir up curiosity in someone who thinks the story of a baby who was lying in a manger thousands of years ago is irrelevant to their lives?

In this bonus Christmas episode, we’re going to break from our pattern and focus in on sharing the story the Bible tells with others.

Darin and Joy have served in youth ministries in the UK for over twenty years and have launched @starttostir , helping everyday people like us stir up curiosity in those who are seemingly disinterested in faith.

How can we ask good questions and keep the conversation going (instead of shutting it down)? And how do we find a point of relevancy, for even bringing up something related to the Gospel?

Make sure you stick around till the end where Darin shared five different things we can look for to stir up conversations about faith. Since they live in the UK, they’re experiencing what we probably soon will in America: a completely post-Christian culture. They gave me so much to think about, and I know the same will be true for you.

Link in bio.
...

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“Do you not even care?”
the disciples ask Jesus—asleep on the cushion in the boat. There’s perhaps an edge of accusation in their tone.

It’s hard to understand when God seems to be “sleeping” when you’re in the middle of a storm. Have you ever wondered if God even cares? I have.

But as @sarahpwalton
and I discussed on episode 9, it’s helpful to consider my options.

If I abandon God, saying, “You’re not listening!” is this going to alleviate my fear? Where is the comfort in being my own God?

In the storm, there is only Jesus. Only him!

Living like this story is true means letting the One who can calm the storm decide when He’ll calm the storm. Because, after all, He is God (and I am not).

Storms press me to ask hard questions about God’s sovereignty, and face the wrong assumptions I’ve made about Him.

Here’s the question: What is God teaching me about Himself in a storm, that I could never have learned on a sunny day?


#biblepodcast #livelikeitstrue #biblestorypodcast #biblereadings #biblereadingpodcast #readthebible #christianpodcast #christianpodcastsforwomen #newpodcast #christianpodcastcommunity #sparkmediapodcastnetwork #encouragement #podcastsforwomen #storiesofjesus #truebiblestories #truestory #biblediscusstiontopics #biblestudy #thestoryofthebible #beastoryteller #storyofthebible #dgroup #smallgroup #storying #mark4 #jesuscalmingthestorm #sarahwalton
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They’ve got a whole lot of nothing when the storm is about to break their boat to pieces, and all they have to turn to at that point is Christ. @swalts14

On episode 9 of “Live Like It’s True” you'll be so encouraged by Sarah's vulnerability, her faith, and her hope in Jesus—the one who calms our storms.

You can find more of Sarah’s ministry by following @sarahpwalton or her site:⁠

https://setapart.net/⁠

#biblepodcast #livelikeitstrue #biblestorypodcast #biblereadings #biblereadingpodcast #readthebible #christianpodcast #christianpodcastsforwomen #newpodcast #christianpodcastcommunity #sparkmediapodcastnetwork #encouragement #podcastsforwomen #storiesofjesus #truebiblestories #truestory #biblediscusstiontopics #biblestudy #thestoryofthebible #beastoryteller #storyofthebible #dgroup #smallgroup #storying #mark4 #jesuscalmingthestorm #sarahwalton⁠
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Movie and popcorn night tonight at the Popkins!🍿Isn’t this a great gift from @rachel.joy.bailey and my friends at @peacechurchmi ?

After a busy ministry week I’m looking forward to some time at home, being lazy. AND my friend @jfbrauns and I were swapping all time movie favorites. I’m kinda glad our lists didn’t overlap (except for #youvegotmail ) so now I have some new #oldiesbutgoodies to watch!

What’s your all time favorite movie—and approximately how many times have you watched it?

Btw, @jfbrauns I forgot one: Serendipity! And this is the best time to watch because it opens with them Christmas shopping at a department store! #favoritemovies #oldiesbutgoodies #christmasmovies #movienight
...

28 13

Have you ever felt like God was asleep while you were enduring a storm? Have you ever been tempted to ask, "Does God even care about me?"

In episode 9, Sarah Walton and I talk about this story of Jesus calming the storm for his disciples—but not immediately.

I think you're going to be so encouraged by Sarah's vulnerability, her faith, and her hope in Jesus—the one who calms our storms.

Follow Sarah Walton @sarahpwalton

#biblepodcast #livelikeitstrue #biblestorypodcast #biblereadings #biblereadingpodcast #readthebible #christianpodcast #christianpodcastsforwomen #newpodcast #christianpodcastcommunity #sparkmediapodcastnetwork #encouragement #podcastsforwomen #storiesofjesus #truebiblestories #truestory #biblediscusstiontopics #biblestudy #thestoryofthebible #beastoryteller #storyofthebible #dgroup #smallgroup #storying #mark4 #jesuscalmingthestorm #sarahwalton
...

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Have you been "born again"? Have you "looked to Jesus" as your only Savior from death? ⁠

Jesus used these two images to explain to Nicodemus how he could have eternal life: ⁠

First, a baby being born. Jesus said Nicodemus needed to be born again. But since babies offer nothing to their own birthing process, how could Nicodemus have this spiritual re-birth? ⁠

That's where the second image is helpful. ⁠

Jesus reminded Nicodemus of the bronze snake Moses put on a pole. The people were dying of snake bites, but if they looked to the pole, they were saved. In this same way, anyone who lifts their eyes to Jesus on the cross, can escape eternal death. ⁠

No, Nicodemus couldn't save himself. Yes, he could look to his Savior and be born again and have eternal life.⁠

>>Same is true for you!<<⁠

Listen to my whole conversation with @TheBrewsterHome, @TruthLoveParent⁠ on my podcast, Live Like It's True - episode 8. ⁠


#biblepodcast #livelikeitstrue #biblestorypodcast #biblereadings #biblereadingpodcast #readthebible #christianpodcast #christianpodcastsforwomen #newpodcast #christianpodcastcommunity #sparkmediapodcastnetwork #encouragement #podcastsforwomen #storiesofjesus #truebiblestories #truestory #biblediscusstiontopics #biblestudy #thestoryofthebible #beastoryteller #storyofthebible #dgroup #smallgroup #storying #storyofnicodemus #bornagain #truthloveparent #john3
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Finishing up my slides, and thinking about Mary's amazing example of surrender. ⁠

An angel shows up unexpectedly with news that will completely upend Mary's life. And there are no question marks at the end of any of his sentences; only periods: ⁠

You will conceive. ⁠
You will give birth. ⁠
You will name him Jesus. ⁠

After asking, "Yes, but how?", Mary says, "I am the Lord's servant. Let it be to me as you have said." ⁠

You shouldn't give your life away to just anybody who shows up, asking for it. But when the Most High God sends word that he has a role for you to play, this is exactly what you should say. ⁠

I am the Lord's servant. I serve at the pleasure. ⁠

What is God asking you to surrender to Him, this Christmas? ⁠

#controlgirl #sweetsurrender #speaking #womensevent #christmasevent #christmassurrender #visitfromtheangel #luke1 #motherofjesus #marydidyouknow #letitbetome ⁠
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38 11

“Often I hear people say, 'Well, I've always been a Christian.'

“This idea that their standing with God is based on the fact that they were born into a church-going family [isn’t true].

“It doesn't matter who your parents are. That doesn't mean that you are spiritually born again.” - @thebrewsterhome ⁠

Come listen as Aaron and I talk through the story of Nicodemus and the astonishing truth that we must—and can—be born again, if we're to live forever. ⁠

Check out Aaron's podcast @truthloveparent
...

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From My Shop: 

Are you exhausted by measure-up comparison?

 

 

Get the Comparison Girl Bonuses 

& Learn to Live Me-Free in this Measure-Up World  

Great! Check your email (or spam) for a message from shannon@shannonpopkin.com.

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