Wanda’s Journal

Comparisons

In my previously published novel, The Journey, a young man named Titus felt inferior to his twin brother, Timothy, and had since they were young boys. Timothy always seemed to know what he wanted and was able to do everything right. Titus, on the other hand, had made no specific plans for the future, and it seemed like nothing he did was ever good enough; especially compared to his brother’s achievements.

Children often compare themselves or try to compete with their siblings or a friend. Even as adults, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others, which can lead to feelings of jealousy, resentment and self-doubt.

What can a parent do to help their children feel equally important within the family? How can we, as an adult, overcome feelings of inferiority and stop comparing ourselves to siblings, other relatives or friends?

Here are a few verses of Scripture that have spoken to me during times when I’ve been tempted to compare myself to others: II Corinthians 10:12 (KJV): For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with that commend themselves; but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

This is another Scripture I especially like: Colossians 3:23 (KJV): “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” This verse reminds me that instead of comparing myself to others, everything I do should be done for the Lord, and not to look good in the eyes of other people.

 

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90 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for your insight Wanda. I was among the ranks of those overlooked by an older brother who was the families ‘eye apple’. Fortunately, through faith, i know now that i am to focus on the Lord and not fallible mans ways. we all have to always be aware of falling into that same sin. i know i have my favorites as well….Judi

    1. I enjoyed this book with the twins. I have enjoyed ALL the books you’ve written. Just started reading amish authors this past year and you are by far at the top of my list. I would love to be entered to win the next free book. I have visited my local used bookstore to find all the books you’ve written that my library may no longer carry. Thanks for your stories written with God and His word in mind. May God bless.

  2. I think that parents need to make a deliberate way to compliment each child’s uniqueness. Each child is different, and it is up to us parents to bring out each one’s uniqueness. We can’t compare or say words like, “why don’t you do what your brothers doing, learn from him.” or “why can’t you be more like your brother?” As an adult, I have had to overcome the feeling of “not enough” and it has been hard, but when I realized that God loved me just the way I am and that He made me in His image, it changed my perspective on myself. I now know that God can use me just as I am, that there is nothing wrong with me that God can restore.

    1. Never having had the experience of this situation I can’t even imagine doing such a thing to my own children.I feel everyone is different in their own way and parents should recognize this and treat their children as such.Each child is unique in their way and that’s what makes each so special.I can’t thank you for all your encouraging words all these year’s .Your words have guided me in many ways.Thank you.

  3. I have LOVED reading your books for many ,many years! Thank you for writing such good, meaningful stories.

  4. In our family we try to do what we call a date day with our children to make them feel special. One week I would take my daughter out and my husband would take my son out and the next week Vice versa. It is especially hard when they grow into teens when you have one with a diag osis of add, odd and autism. As an adult I think we need to seek the help of God and our family to learn to deal with our inferiority. It’s sometimes very hard but I try and tell myself that there are people going through worse problems and God gives us what we can handle even when it may be a steuggle!

    1. Well said. I suggested dates as well. I agree it is hard when children turn into teens but I have found they do like notes and such even if they don’t express it.

  5. I sometimes have to remind myself that everything I do is for the Lord and not for the praise of people.

  6. As for children – I would say to show them you love them all equally & treat them equally. Show them just how important each one is.

    As adults – I went through this with an abusive first husband & my older sister, who I feel believes she is much better than me or our younger sister. I have done a lot of praying for God’s guidance & direction. I let her know now just how she makes us feel & also believe her cancer, which has been cancer free from for over 5 yrs, helped her pull closer to God & change. I’m no longer married to the abuser, I felt neither my 3 yr old at the time nor I were safe with him. My new husband is much better. I pray for these types everyday. I prayed before I re-married & feel God has forgiven me for it.

    Those Bible verses are great helpers.

  7. Yes, I find myself comparing myself to other’s often, especially other ladies. I love the scripture that you use, and I will remember these. Thank you so very much!😊

  8. In order to stop comparing ourselves to others, it is important to focus on our strengths and not our weaknesses. We have to remember that God loves all his children equally. He made each of us each different for a reason. His love is all we should be concerned about.

  9. I can relate with this story as I always felt that I was not smart, thin or active as my brothers. It took me a long time to accept that I am the way that God made me and if he loves me then I should love me as well.

  10. Thank you for this particular blog. I know all too well about comparisons with siblings and at times it can hurt. I found that my parents would give me a little extra attention and they learned not to compare me with my siblings so it eventually helped. It is a growing lesson that needs to be learned and incorporated into the family.

  11. All of your books are wonderful reading. We to often go to Amish homes and places to buy goods and I get attached to the ones who are there. They have a way of drawing people to them. Our son often shares a deer with an Amish family who has several children.
    Thank you for sharing through your books. Have a joyful holiday season. Our prayers are with you.

  12. I also, compared myself many times to my younger sister. But, have now come to realize I’m good at what I can do. My love and caring, for both people and animals.

  13. I like that last verse…do all you do for the Lord, please Him! He is the most important one to please!

    Martha Leavell

  14. Children are individuals. Don’t compare them. Just love them unconditionally and make sure they know it.

  15. Love reading your emails all ways love hearing about the Amish, and about what going on in your life to seeing your up coming books and the recipe’s thank you God Bless 🌲🌲🌲

  16. My Children have been through that jealousy stage in their lives as well. All we can do an parents is show them love and encouragement and let them know they are both equally special. I love reading your novels. They give such wonderful insight to the Amish way of life. I can never put the books down. They are so good and a great way to relax. They also give insight to the simple things in life and how we should appreciate it and all we have. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas season and for selfish reasons please keep writing.

  17. I love your books as they soothe my soul. I love reading the Bible verses throughout. The Amish way of life is back to basics and what is important in our lives. Thank you for addressing comparisons to others…do not covet.

  18. Thank you for your insights. I always appreciate the scriptures that you attach to the journal entries and in your books. You make the Amish life come to life!!

  19. Absolutely!!! In the end, the only one that it will matter is JESUS!!! We are all precious in HIS eyes. That is what we need to remember, we are sons and daughters of a KING!! Blessings to you and yours this CHRISTmas season and remember to keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas!!!

  20. Oh my goodness, this touched my heart! I grew up with a mother that was always the best at everything, and I never quite measured up. To this day if I do something she will try to do it better… I thank you for the verses, they will help me remember that there is only one judge and he will be there at the end! <3 Praying for all.

  21. I have two sons. As young children one was always outgoing and wanted to mingle with peers. The other was more quiet and was happy to stay home and play with small hand toys. One watched TV any time it was on. The other “watched” with his back to the TV while entertaining himself with his cars or animals. As men in their 50s, one’s work is outgoing in sales and he still loves his TV. The other is a “retired” executive from an international corporation; his time is now used to teach on the college Masters Degree level what he knows from his experiences. He actually watches some TV with his family. They still compare themselves not realizing they each are so special just with different interests, skills and abilities.

  22. my two younger sisters are twins and ive seen this in them .what one has the other wants. and my older sister always wanted what they had . i was a loner and was happy with what i had . its amazing how things work out in families. i have 6 sisters and boy that was alot of chaos growing up . hanks sharing the verses i love them

  23. I have two adult children now but when they were younger I would remind them of their “special talents or tried to teach them that everybody has their own positives and negatives but to always look at a positive trait long before filling the head with doubts, second guessing or comparing. Each person may have quirks but there’s more positive if they give people a chance. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t get let down at times but each time should be used as a learning experience

  24. This comparison happens so often with second children, especially if close in age to the first. It took me years with help from God to be who I am, and I still adore my older “perfect” sister.

  25. This is such a hard topic for most parents. Especially since we compete with the hold that social media has on our children.
    One suggestion that I wish I had done when my children were young would be to date your children. Take the time to take each one to do something individually. It doesn’t have to cost money. Just take time alone and get to know them as individuals.
    As an adult I have removed myself from social media because I found myself comparing my life to others and feeling like less of a person. I also have learned to silently pray when I begin to feel that I am less of a person than others around me.

  26. I feel no matter what a child excels in, always offer up praise, no matter how trivial it may be. It’s important to the child’s morale.

  27. Thank you for the inspirational scriptures. I am a person who compares myself to others; asking myself what have I done with my life, when comparing myself to others?
    Cindi

  28. I sometimes have a hard time not comparing myself to others, especially my twin brother. It’s difficult not to compare myself with other people, but God helps me to remember that He’s made us each unique and that He’s created me for a purpose.

  29. Stress to yourself and your children that they were created in the image of God and no one is inferior to each other. Give the children tasks they can accomplish to make them feel important. Compliment them on a job well done.
    We as adults need to realize we are as important and beautiful as anyone else. Do something for yourself to make you feel beautiful, i.e. new hairdo, new outfit, go out to dinner. Most of all read the scriptures in Proverbs telling you an amazing woman.

  30. I am the oldest of 6 kids and it can be hard.
    I have two boys with my husband and I make sure they are both felt safe, special and loved.
    Sometimes I felt this was missing growing up so I’m making sure I do it differently. At least trying to.

  31. Those are very good scriptures to pass on to help people with inferiority. I’ve struggled with it. My dad struggled with his whole life, but taking these scriptures into account and others, knowing the Lord as Savior and being obedient to Him helps us look at things in a totally different view. Praise the Lord for His scripture to us!
    I have enjoyed reading your books very much. The last one I read recently was “A Merry Heart” It belonged to a friend. I would be very much interested in reading “The Westward Christmas Brides”!

  32. Be sure to point out strengths that you see in your children and praisthem when they do good. Always push yourself to do your best.

  33. Love reading your journal, makes me stop and reflect the ways l could change my doings and become closer to my Lord

  34. I love how you share scripture in your books. It was through your books that you witnessed to my mom when she wasn’t open to hearing from me. God bless you and your family❤️
    Sincerely,
    Theresa

  35. I have a disability, I used to compare myself to my sister. As I grew up I learned that God made me uniquely special. I enjoy your writings very much.

  36. I know my two older sisters have or do still have some resentments toward me. I am my dad’s only child. And my sisters are 13 and 28 years older than me. I never felt it as I was growing up but as adults I feel it. I really don’t feel they should resent me and it makes me feel sad that they do

    1. I also have two older siblings. My sister is 13 years older, and my brother is 11 years and 1 month older than me. My parents said that raising me was like raising an only child. I can relate to you in the fact that I am the youngest. But, my siblings never resented me. In fact, I used to feel a little jealous of them because they had more time with my dad. He died when I was seventeen. You are in my prayers.

  37. I agree that the two Bible verses that Wanda cited are helpful with the comparison issue. Jesus is our example, not other people.

  38. It is so hard not to compare yourself to others but you need to remember that you have a special talent of your own. God has given it to you. You are special to him and he is always there for you.

  39. I am anxious to read The Journal. I love all your many books I have read. This one especially will be meaningful because I believe my daughter-in-law unwittingly compared her girls. The oldest was very sick as a young child but excelled in academics. Her younger sister became ill when she was 12 with anxiety and with chronic nausea. Also some mental issues.

  40. I love your books and have read them for many years. This is a good reminder to not compare myself to others. I many times feel like I’m not nearly as talented as the other women in my church. God made me the way I am and that’s ok. Thanks for this reminder.

  41. As a parent, I think it is important to note a child’s strengths to them while being encouraging about weaknesses, especially when the child is trying something new. I also think it is a good idea to let children know that even as adults, there are things we do not excel at and that is okay! Not everyone can be good at everything, and God made each of us special in His eyes which is the most important thing. As adults I think we are best off learning self-acceptance and praying for the wisdom to have faith that we have been given the gifts best suited to us. God loves us just the way we are and what a wonderful gift that is!

  42. One thing that parents can do is listen to each child. Spend time with each child doing what that child is interested in. My parents made a point of spending quality time with each of us. With my siblings, it was hunting and fishing. With me, it was taking special trips and going to sporting events. My parents also took us all camping.

  43. It really hit home the comparison of people. God made us each unique, no two are the same. When we were raising my boys we made sure to recognize each for their gifts and their individual spirit. I know the sting of comparison, and did not want that for my family. Thank you Wanda for an amazing journal entry!

  44. We can teach our children , they are each special & creative & talented in each their own ways. That they are loved all the same & each have the abilities to do & help others in different ways!

  45. We faced an unusual difficulty as the parents of two children. Our son received several new books for his second birthday. The next day, he asked me to read one to him while I was in the middle of scrubbing my kitchen floor. I asked him to give me a minute. He sat down beside me and read the book aloud to me! I asked him to tell me the story in his own words. He was reading with comprehension! Things escalated from there. When he should have been a junior in high school, he was a college freshman. We had to work extremely hard to make sure that our daughter felt special, too. She has told us that she never felt the need to compare herself to her brother. As adults, they are great friends.

  46. Dear Wanda:

    Thank you for sharing II Corinthians 10:12 and Colossians 3:23.

    As many years as I have been reading the Bible I don’t remember ever reading II Corinthians 10:12 and I’m so glad you pointed it out and I read it. Comparing myself to others is something I have silently struggled with all my life. You have given me much to think about with those two verses.

    Also, thank you for the many, many Amish books you have written and continue to write. I thoroughly enjoy beach and every one of them and look forward to the Scripture verses you quote. I pass on your books I purchase after I have read them to others hoping to give others the joy you give me through your books.

    Thank you for keeping your books as close to “true Amish” customs and ways as you do. It’s nice to hear and read the truth.

    I would like to ask you to publish the Amish words and phrases you use in your books in order to better understand what your characters are saying. If you could print these at the back of your books it would be greatly appreciated. I truly enjoy learning the meaning of the Amish language or “Pennsylvania Dutch” as I believe it is called.

    In Christ’s Love,

    Judy

  47. As a family, we still enjoy to play board games and spend quality time with our grown children and grandchildren. With today’s society and all the modern technology there isn’t as much mental thinking and physical work involved. Which in a way is sad.

  48. It is so easy to compare ourselves to others. I try to remember that God made us all unique and with different talents. I love your books, Wanda!

  49. Its important for parents to remind their children of their own particular strengths and gifts that God gave them. We are all different and unique, which is how God made us. My priest points this out to me when I tell him perhaps I need to change the way I am. It is so wrong to try to change the way we are in order to try to be like someone we admire. There is a reason God made us the way we are! It is to fulfill a purpose. We are made perfectly in God’s eyes. As an adult, I stopped comparing myself to others as I learned that no one’s life is perfect. I always am so grateful for the life I have when I find out more about other’s imperfect lives. We need to be grateful for the Lord’s gifts.

  50. I can relate to Titus as I have constantly compared myself to siblings and friends. When i start to fall into that trap, I just have to remind myself that I am a daughter of the King!

  51. I agree with Colossians 3:23, as I have been very guilty of comparing myself to my brother and sister in the past. But, the closer and closer I get to God the more I want to please Him. As to my girls, they have mentioned to me that they feel like I love the other more and spend more time with the other more than them. Each has felt inferior to the other and I continually do what I can to let each of my daughters, who are adults, know that I love them both equally but that they both have unique loving, amazing qualities that make me laugh and smile. That they have different unique traits that make them who they are. As their mom, I will never stop loving them no matter what and how old they get. I will always be here for them. And to never let anyone make them feel less than, because I love them. But more importantly, God loves them even more than I do and thats incredible because that’s a whole lot of love, unconditionally.

  52. We have twin granddaughters who are 4 years old. I recently stayed a week with them and saw a lot of wanting each to fuss for my attention. I reminded them that I love them both the same and that they are special in the eyes of Jesus ❤️. Have a blessed season of peace on earth and good will towards men🙏🙏

  53. I am so happy that you continue to write such wonderful books.I have been reading them for years. I love the stories. Every night I read to relax after I come home from work.

  54. I spend equal time with both of my sons to let them know they are loved. When I go and compare myself to others I remind myself that God does not make any junk! Thank you Wanda and Merry Christmas!