February 26, 2023

An Instagram Comparison Trap

Written by Shana Schutte

The believer’s significance comes from Christ alone.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 26, 2023

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139:14 

I recently decided to create a reel on Instagram, a 30-second video, to hopefully inspire my coaching clients. While creating this reel inside the app, I noticed different filters you could use to change your appearance—all with enticing sounding names: Toasted Almond, Modelista, and California, just to name a few. Because I was intrigued, I tried each filter, and I was surprised by the results. They all made my skin look clearer, my eyes brighter, and my teeth whiter. And, as promised, Modelista made me look like . . . well . . .  a supermodel. 

I used my phone to take photos of the results and I shared them with my husband. “No wonder so many people—including kids—hate themselves and how they look. No filters for me. Everything God makes is good. We have all been fearfully and wonderfully made.” 

A few hours after my reel experience (which wasn’t real at all), I looked in the mirror and noticed an age spot on my right cheek and grey that is starting to show around my temples. Immediately a nasty feeling of not-enough-ness crept into my emotions simply from using those deceitful Instagram filters. Even though I didn’t want to, I’d fallen into the trap of comparison against an unrealistic standard. 

In an article titled the Comparison Trap, Renee Swope of Proverbs 31 Ministries writes, “The only way to break free from the comparison trap is by embracing who we are instead of trying to be who we are not.” 

Amen, Renee. Amen. But it’s not just video or photo filters that can make us feel bad about who we are. Feelings of not being enough can also creep in from comparing ourselves to others . . . how they are succeeding compared to us, how they are being blessed compared to us, how blessed their relationships are compared to us, how much money they are earning compared to us, how many homes they own, how many talents they have, and how God is using them in His Kingdom. 

Then, when full grown, extreme comparison can do more than just make us feel nasty. It can cause us to try to create lives God never planned for us. As a result, we can waste our moments, days, and years simply because we’re chasing earthly identities out of God’s will because we’re trying to be someone else. This all comes from trying to prove we are enough when God has already made us enough. All He makes is good. 

The entire trajectory of our lives can be adversely affected. Not only that, but our relationships with others can be adversely affected too. 

The Reverend James Hofstetler once said, “You will never really enjoy other people; you will never have stable emotions; you will never live a life of godly contentment; you will never conquer jealousy and love others as you should until you thank God for making you the way He did.”

The believer’s significance is not determined by anything external, including our earth suit and the beauty of our skin. We already possess abundant significance which comes from Christ alone. All He makes is good. And, you won’t be able to fully glorify God and fulfill the purposes for which He created you if you are trying to be someone else.

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’” (Genesis 1:26).


Lord, how magnificent that you have uniquely created me after your own image! All you make is good. Nothing you make is junk. Help me to fully embrace how you have created me so that I live a life of glorifying you. Amen.


Do you struggle with comparing yourself to others? Thank God today for how He has uniquely made you.

Related Reading

Psalm 111:2; Psalm 40:5; Psalm 92:4-5

Worship Resource

Steven Curtis Chapman: Fingerprints of God


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