One person holding a large pineapple holding it next to someone holding a much smaller pineapple

Conquering Comparison

“Charity renders powerless this temptation to compare.” –J. B. Haws 

If you have ever been caught in the trap of self-demeaning comparison, you are in good company—it’s a shared human weakness. If we are to become like Christ, we need to overcome the tendency to compare ourselves to others. But how can we combat something that is so innate? 

three hands in a pile, one large, one medium, one small

Photo by Melvin Matute

In his BYU devotional “Wrestling with Comparison,” J. B. Haws shares a story from President Susan S. Tanner. Despite painful insecurities due to a bad case of teenage acne, President Tanner learned a crucial lesson from her wise mother that helped her realize what mattered most. “You must do everything you can to make your appearance pleasing,” her mother said, “but the minute you walk out the door, forget yourself and start concentrating on others.” Dr. Haws goes on to relate President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s description of true selflessness: “Some suppose that humility is about beating ourselves up. Humility does not mean convincing ourselves that we are worthless, meaningless, or of little value. Nor does it mean denying or withholding the talents God has given us. We don’t discover humility by thinking less of ourselves; we discover humility by thinking less about ourselves.”

In forgetting ourselves, we are freed from comparison. Instead of others’ victories being painful reminders of our weaknesses, their joy can become our own. What feels impossible is made possible through the Son of God. When we ask in humble prayer, he will help us turn outward, leaving no room for crippling comparison.

Read more about how false many of our comparisons are in J. B. Haws’ BYU devotional, “Wrestling with Comparison.”

Source: BYU Speeches

–Rebecca Watkins, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights

Learn more about turning outward as Christ did in Elder Bednar’s speech, “The Character of Christ.”

Take a look at Taylor Nelson’s Latter-day Saint Insights article “It’s Not About You, It’s About Me: Who You Are Really Competing Against” to learn more about the way God sees comparison.

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  1. I love how this article talks about humility as something that brings everyone up rather than bringing ourselves down.

  2. Latter-day Saint Insights Team

    Thank you so much for you comment, Eliza! We’ve also learned to appreciate the Christ-like attribute of humility.

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