Compulsive Comparative Syndrome. Sophie says we all suffer from it. You think you don’t? Well, do you ever look at a girl in a shop and think: Wow I wish I had her… ? Or do you ever see a sister struggling with sin and think: Good that I am not struggling like that? Sophie calls this CCS and compellingly shows in her book how we all suffer from it. She explains that Compulsive Comparisons occur as we look up to people or look down on them. Both of these mechanisms produce ugly things like envy, despair, self-pity, pride and feelings of superiority in us. She describes how this harms our relationship with ourselves, others as well as (and most importantly) our relationship with God.

She describes the cause of this being that we have pushed God out of the centre and put ourselves in his place and that therefore we look to other things other than God for our significance, security and satisfaction, which we are actually to find in God.

In “Compared to her” Sophie describes both the realities of CCS and ways to move on from it. I found her book to be a very easy and engaging read that you can almost read in one sitting on a day off! We read it together as girls in church and discussed it afterwards. It was a real joy to have the girls coming together all with the attitude: We don’t want to compare ourselves negatively to each other but we want to use Comparisons in a God honouring way.

Sophie writes: “CCs are not easy to be rid of. But it is wonderful to live without. This side of death we’ll all be recovering sufferers. But as we live the gospel, letting God be God, treating Jesus as our Creator and Saviour, we can know real blessing. We can experience the significance of being made and loved by Him; and the satisfaction of living for Him; and the security of knowing He will give us fullness of life without end.”

Intrigued? I’ve already re-read it only about 12 months after I read it for the first time to remind me of the lessons learned it the book! Why not read it together with two or three girls in your church? [Judith Nettelroth]