“She’s way smarter than me.” “At least I’m not like him.” “I wish I was that cool.” “Everybody loves him.”

As Christians, we compare ourselves to each other far too often. These statements seem innocent enough, but they show that we are evaluating and ranking ourselves with the people around us. We want to see how we compare with other people because our identity is in ourselves. How people perceive us becomes the question that defines everything we do. Because our identity, joy, and hope is wrapped up in what people think of us, we end up competing with each other for attention. Instead of seeing our fellow Christians as brothers and sisters, we see them as obstacles to us receiving praise. In our thoughts of “they’re smarter than me,” “they’re funnier than me,” “they’re friendlier than me,” and whatever else, the focus is always me, me, me. We want to be noticed. We want to be known. We want to be praised.

The problem is only God is worthy of praise and glory. We are His creation—fully dependent on Him. Our pride is this lie that says we are the most important and that we don’t need God. It causes our hearts to steal the spotlight from Him and focus it on ourselves instead. But we are nothing without God and we only have true hope because of the Gospel. Paul writes of this good news in 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” We are simply “jars of clay,” weak and insignificant compared to the treasure held within us. This glorious Gospel reminds us that even though we were glory-stealers and idol-makers, Christ died the death we deserved because of our sin. How can we be prideful when the Son of God humbled himself to die for our sins? Christ did not just die, He rose again and sealed our place in the family of God. Because of Jesus’s sacrifice, God is our Father who fully knows and loves us. We are His beloved sons and daughters.

We must recognize the magnitude of God’s grace and put our hope and identity in Him alone. We have complete love and acceptance into His family. We do not need to prove our worth to anyone. Once we realize this, we can truly love the people around us. Instead of evaluating them based on how they compare to us, we can look beyond them and celebrate the God behind the beauty and good work in their lives. Their abilities, just like yours, do not come from themselves. It does not matter if someone is “better” than you because you can both glorify God by using the talents He has given you. God has a purpose for how He made each one of us, so we have no reason to compare ourselves to each other.

Of course, the fight against pride is a constant battle. There is no one-time fix or quick to-do list for rooting out this sin from our lives. But I would encourage you to be more aware of what you’re telling yourself about your siblings in Christ. You are not better than them, and you are not worse than them. They are God’s beloved children, who have been made in His image, just like you. We are a family and our goal is simply to put the spotlight on God and show the world how awesome our Father is. Live your life in a way that encourages others to grow even closer to the One who loves us all so much.