This is the season where we are supposed to be full of joy, contentment and gratitude for all that we are and have. If I am honest though, I keep finding myself comparing to what others are or have. I know books have been written on this very subject but as today's confessions I am just going to share my heart on this...Being caught in comparison trap is the total opposite of cultivating joy in myself and cheerleading for others (which is what I want to do!). Why is it so EASY to get discouraged when we see others succeeding? Someone else’s successes are not meant to make us feel lesser, but most of the time they do.
My inner dialogue has lots of things on repeat like “yeah but she still gets to be skinny” or “why can’t I be acknowledged” or a myriad of other comparisons that are meant for me to make myself feel better. I really don’t feel better though when it’s at someone else’s expense. A lot of us are familiar with the saying, “comparison is the thief of joy.” It sure is! When you start to compare, you easily let your own value and the value of others dwindle. Even today I saw someone get photos published that I was like "why aren't I getting published?" I mean you kind of have to be submitting to get published but these are just minor details right when you're talking to yourself?! (sarcasm totally intended).
I stumbled across an article that is really worth the full read, but something she wrote really struck me hard. “Comparison is a quiet vulture, swooping in to peck its sharp beak at our joy, our camaraderie, and our witness to the world.” Wow, allowing ourselves to compare not only pecks away at our joy, it puts divides between us that were never meant to be there. We can envy people or things from the school car line to the facebook feed. We are only seeing things from our perspective, mind you, and may not even have the full story.
This envy is opposite of what I read this morning, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7 There’s so much here we can pull apart from the truth of God’s word. We aren’t supposed to be walking around comparing ourselves to others, but we are supposed to be rooted and built up in our identity in Christ. God giving another person a gift, is not an affront to ourselves. We must also learn that having a heart of gratitude can quickly stomp out the sparks of envy that start to fly. When we are truly thankful for our own gifts and lives, it helps us to see others in the right perspective. We can even move from jealousy to joy! We can move from comparing to celebrating others!
“Comparison is folly, and no one wins—or ever has.” We really cannot win at the comparison game, so we must stop subjecting ourselves to it. When I find envy in my heart or that inner dialogue starts taunting me, I am going to speak truth to myself in this season. I want to fight for my joy and contentment in this time of celebration. What are you doing to cultivate joy this season?
I hope your Thanksgiving week is off to a beautiful start!