Are Comparisons Stealing The Joy In Your Life?
Comparison is the thief of joy
I agree that comparison is the thief of joy. Comparison can be an ugly thing.
Nobody has to teach us how it goes and it shows up at a pretty young age.
If you have children, you have probably heard these comparisons before.
"He has a bigger piece than me".
"_______'s _________ is nice than what I have. Why didn't I get ______?"
It drives me crazy when kids start comparing and complaining; especially when they've just been given a gift and they’re already discontent.
Maybe it's easy to hear and see it amongst our children, but do we participate in the comparison game too?
I confess, I have.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Do we ever stop to think about what that really means?
A tranquil mind gives health to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30
We live in a culture that is consumed with comparisons and keeping up with the Jones.
I often look around and wonder, how did we get here?
How did we get to a place where everything is at our fingertips and so much is available to us, and yet there is a lack of contentment, and a dissatisfaction with one’s circumstances more than ever before?
There’s a constant feeling of #fail or not measuring up.
Personally, I think Theodore Roosevelt was accurate.
Comparison steals our joy, and it leads to envy and jealousy…
Thanks to Social Media we now have 24-hour access to sources telling us we don’t measure up, where we fall short and what we’re lacking. In the age of apps and technology, the comparisons amongst women is at an all-time high.
This is sad because instead of enjoying the life that God has blessed us with, we are looking around and comparing to see if we “measure up” or not.
What a miserable existence to constantly feel like our life is lacking.
Does any of it encourage us to grow and develop as individuals or in our character?
Does it encourage us to seek our aﬃrmation and contentment from the One who made us?
The ways in which we see the comparisons in Social Media is all materialistic or on an external level…the unrealistic perfection. Our clothes, our homes, our vehicles, our bodies, our food choices.
Sure, all these things can spur us on to work harder to achieve those things, but it also leads to comparison of what we don’t have, where we lack and where we fall short (according to the worlds standards).
Let me tell you friend, when we get stuck in the comparison trap, it steals our joy! Comparisons can lead to an unhealthy habit of envy and jealousy, and even self-pity or pride.
It’s hard to be happy, content and peaceful when we’re constantly comparing.
Instead of enjoying what is in front of us and what we do have, we focus on the things we don’t have.
That is a sad state to live in. We miss out when we compare our circumstances or belongings with someone else’s.
This needs to stop!
Comparisons were robbing my joy
I’m speaking from experience here.
Many years ago, in the early years of motherhood, I was frustrated, angry and just plain unhappy.
Was my life hard and miserable? No, not at all.
Sure, I was a little tired from having babies and toddlers, but that wasn’t it.
My problem was that I was constantly looking at magazines…and eventually Pinterest…pictures of beautifully organized and decorated homes. Meanwhile our home was old, with mismatched second-hand furniture. It was comfy and cozy, but nowhere near magazine quality.
Instead of being grateful for the roof I had over my head, I was disappointed because I was comparing my home to that of a magazine.
At one point God was knocking on the door of my heart, saying “that thing…that comparison and ungratefulness, that has to go. It’s not part of My Kingdom”.
I recognized I had a problem, but I didn’t realize that at that time, it was the main source of my unhappiness and discontent. There was nothing wrong with my circumstances; just my focus.
I didn’t enjoy feeling miserable about our situation because it wasn’t going to change anytime soon. Eventually I decided if the situation wasn’t going to change, then I needed to change, but it wasn’t easy.
I loved looking at all the beautiful things, but it wasn’t good for my soul. It led to feelings of:
That’s not who I wanted to be or how I wanted to live my life.
The enemy wants nothing more than to take our focus and attention oﬀ of what God has for us. He will distract us in any way possible and keep us miserable. If he can cause us to be bitter, unsatisﬁed and ungrateful, then he wins.
Stop the comparison
Do you struggle with comparisons or being discontent with your life?
It’s time to turn that around!
There is a solution to this ongoing battle and it’s easier than you think:
First, recognize what your triggers are. Is it magazines, Facebook, TV shows or Pinterest that make you feel discontent?
Once you recognize what the trigger is, stay away from it. Choose a different activity.
Next, pay attention to your thoughts. What are you focusing on? If it’s something that makes you discontent, focus on something else.
Cultivate a heart of thanksgiving! Memorize scripture about rejoicing and thanksgiving.
Start and end your day with thanking God for at least 3 things.
It may sound simple, but if we implement these 5 things it can be life changing. When we cultivate a thankful heart, we can stop comparisons and start enjoying all that the Lord has for us and our lives.
It changed my life! Our circumstances haven’t changed all that much over the years, but I enjoy my life so much more since deciding to stop the envy and jealousy beast, and stop feeding myself comparisons.
It’s worth it my friend!