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?

Constantly trying prove that I measure up or trying 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! 

Want to learn more 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

Have you made your way back, as your church’s doors have opened?⁠

Have you signed up for a small group, or decided to start one?⁠

Have you shared a meal or a walk with someone who loves Jesus lately?⁠

Is anybody looking out for you, spiritually? And are you looking out for them?⁠

When’s the last time you’ve prayed with someone?⁠

When’s the last time you’ve shared what God was showing you in the Bible with another person?⁠

When’s the last time you’ve been asked a spiritual question?⁠

Here's the truth: In spiritual isolation, we wilt. In community we grow.⁠

Do you believe this is true? Do you live like you believe this is true? ⁠

Like plants need water and sunshine, we need to be gathering with other believers to open our ears to the Word of God being preached, and opening our mouths to proclaim the truth about God. Virtual or in person, we need to plant ourselves in side-by-side community with other believers. ⁠

As we one-another, the roots of our hearts become intertwined, which makes us strong against tests, trials, and temptations, and which positions us to grow. ⁠

Read more in my post, "How Well Are You One-Anothering?" Link in bio. ⁠

#smallgroups #spiritualgrowth #whoareyoulookingoutfor #spiritualmentoring #spiritualmothering #biblestudy #onlinebiblestudy #womensministry #nobodythrivesalone #growingroups #groupiswhereyougrow #smallgroupministry #smallgroupspastor #thriveincommuntiy #bodylife #spiritualcommunity #followingJesusingroups
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Delighted to be a guest on "A Woman's Heart" with Lisa Granger this morning.⁠

We're talking about comparison. If you live near Williamsburg, VA, you can tune in at 9 am on WMBG or stream at www.wmbgradio.com. (Link in bio.)⁠

Thanks so much to my #speakuprocks sister, Lisa, for having me on the broadcast!⁠

#christianradio #radiohost #comparison #comparisongirl #mefreeliving #measureupworld ⁠
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When I feel inadequate, I secretly start looking around for some other way I’m exceptional.

If I’m outdone I look for a way to outdo.

If I feel less than, I want to make a mental list of the ways I am greater than.

But look at how my focus is constantly on ME!

Isn’t there more humility—when I feel inadequate or less than—in saying, “Actually I do have less of that in my measuring cup by God’s design.”

Can I live in a universe where God gives more to some and less to others? Can I trust Him to be Lord over that? If so, I’m able to settle myself—not in resignation, but contentment and trust.

I can be inspired by a friend, sister, or neighbor without being jealous of her. I can stop the constant self-focus. And I can get back to work investing and pouring out whatever God HAS put in my measuring cup, rather than worrying about what he hasn’t.

#comparisongirl
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{GIVEAWAY!} Are you looking for a fun way to surprise your girl or granddaughter this summer? Check out the #shinebrightly Activity Box from @GEMSGirlsClubs! Ages 7-12⁠

Since I don't have any girls at my house in that age range, I'm GIVING MY BOX AWAY! To enter: message me or comment below and tell me one way you're praying for your girl (or a girl you know!) this summer. When I read your comment, I'll pray that prayer with you! ⁠

This box has a special focus on friendship and is filled with DIY crafts and recipes, faith-filled devotions, and everything FUN in between! Check it out and order today. #linkinbio⁠
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Several friends asked me about Generous Giving after seeing my post this weekend... ⁠

Generous Giving promises:⁠

A safe place to explore the concept of generosity.⁠

Never ask you for money.⁠

Never tell you how or where to give.⁠

True or False: Surplus creates risks just like scarcity creates risks. ⁠

True or False: Surplus reveals your heart toward God just like scarcity does. ⁠

True or False: Surplus creates an opportunity to trust God and surrender to Him, just like scarcity does. ⁠

Did you pick True / True / True? ⁠

It's not as easy to see surplus as a risk, but the Bible offers warning after warning about the dangers of wealth and greed. I'm so thankful that Generous Giving creates these safe places to talk about and be inspired by generosity.⁠

I love how their intro video closes: "We want something FOR you, not FROM you." When our hearts are shaped by generosity, it truly is a gift to us. ⁠

Let me know if you have questions! Ken and I are facilitators, so we can either help answer your question or point to the people who can. :)⁠

@generous.giving
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Okay, it's time to get down to business. It's summer, and I have work to do! ⁠

I'm starting to realize that my spring and fall months (at least for the foreseeable future) will be too busy and disjointed with speaking to get much writing done. So I'm planning to make summer and winter my quiet, alone-in-the-office days. ⁠

I have several goals, but first one on my list is this one: ⁠

My friend @leenienhuis and I are planning to write our #teencomparisongirl book! We've heard from So. Many. Women. (like you?) who see the need for this book! ⁠

Here's my caption for this photo: "We need YOU to pray for us!!" Will you join us in praying for God's empowering wisdom and strength to finish this project?⁠

If you've read Comparison Girl (for grownups), tell me which part definitely needs to go in the teen book. I'd love to hear your thoughts!⁠

#teenbook #comparison #itsaproblem #ourgirlsneedtruth #pleasepray #measureupworld #livingmefree
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And just like that, he's a senior in high school. Where has the time gone? I miss that little curly-headed boy. But so proud of the man he's becoming. ⁠

He'll be working at camp this summer - which means Ken and I will be empty nesters! But it's not like we see him much when he's here... Most often he's downstairs creating some amazing new song and can't hear me because he has headphones on (God save his hearing!). ⁠

Has anybody, checked out https://cadepopkin.wixsite.com/music ?⁠

#hesasenior #alwaysmybaby #offtocamp #goserveJesus #andhaveablast #wouldntwantyoutomissit
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Should I really be surprised that I can’t keep up with someone a foot taller, forty pounds lighter, and a decade younger? And what if my shorter legs, extra padding, and lower capacity level was actually woven into my DNA by God himself?⁠

What if God has a shorter, smaller list of assignments for me than he has for those he designed to walk faster and accomplish more? When my assignment list for myself is longer and loftier than God’s list for me, this isn’t something to be proud of. I’m aiming to please myself, not God. ⁠

I'm sharing "3 Crippling Effects of Comparison" on my blog. Link in bio. ⁠

#comparisoncripples #measureupmindset #getaheadpride #humilityisbetter #owningmydifferent #Godmadeyouspecial #beyounother #loveyourownpackaging #Godonlymadeoneyou #heisforyou #runningstride #keepyourownpace #pushingyourself #riskofburnout #riskofwashingout #riskofmissingout
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One man asked me, "How would a husband present this book and not get a frying pan to his head?" The question made me laugh, but I understand the concern. ⁠

It wasn't marketing genius to write my first book on a topic no one wants to claim, and people feel uncomfortable giving to their wives or friends or moms. ⁠

If you'd like to give this book to a friend, I have several suggestions in this post, which is part of my Control Girl Q & A series - answering the most common questions I get about the topic of control. ⁠

#controlgirl #giftsthatoffend #howtobegentle #severalideas
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Palestine. South Africa. Jordan. Israel. Michigan. Dominican Republic.⁠

Denominations. Grace. Preaching the Gospel to ourselves continually. ⁠

Serving. Writing. Waiting. Moving. ⁠

This little cluster of friends covered a lot of ground in just a couple of hours, wouldn't you say? Do you have any friends like that?⁠

So grateful for you both, @aylinmerck and @katemotaung !⁠

#writerfriends #meetupinmichigan #instantconversation #knithearts #thankyouJesus
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What if God is MORE pleased when I DON'T get as much done? What if He smiles when I humble myself and say, "Hey guys? I'm going to hang back a bit..." and then walk or work at my own healthy-for-me pace? ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Certainly there are times to surround myself with those who inspire and push me forward. But comparison can also cripple me and hold me back. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
I can think of at least 3 ways, which I wrote about in my latest post (link in my bio). Can you think of any? ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
I'll get you started: ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
When I try to match the stride of someone who is stronger, more established, or has more capacity, it has the potential to....⁠⠀
⁠⠀
#comparisoncripples #measureupmindset #getaheadpride #humilityisbetter #owningmydifferent #Godmadeyouspecial #beyounother #loveyourownpackaging #Godonlymadeoneyou #heisforyou #runningstride #keepyourownpace #pushingyourself #riskofburnout #riskofwashingout #riskofmissingout⁠⠀
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What's your earliest memory, and what does it reveal about you? We talked about this on @lainelawsoncraft 's podcast this week (link in my bio). ⁠

Mine happened in the church balcony at about age four. A woman sitting behind me made me feel exposed as "less than" in front of everybody!⁠

Listen in for more on comparison, not measuring up, and how to be free! ⁠

#comparisongirl #feelinglessthan #whatdoesjesussay #livingbythespout #spoutnotlines #philippians2⁠
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Has your Bible study wrapped up for the year? Summer break is a great time to gather some new ideas for leading, or even starting a group for the first time! If you’d like a plan for gathering women, starting strong, and leading well, check out my #smallgroup #biblestudy #leadertraining course ! Link in bio.

#smallgrouptraining #biblestudyfellowship #smallgroups #leadershipdevelopment #grouplaunch #summerreboot #stopthedrift #whatsnext #LeaderDon’tQuit #OvercomingFear #TipsAndTricks #PlanWell #OvercomingChallenges #leaderchallenges #womensministrytoolbox #womensministry #womensministryideas #womensministryleader
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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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