Updated: May 23
I’m sure you have heard it said that ‘comparison is the thief of all joy.’ And it’s true, but how do you not in today’s culture? Let’s be honest, we are all scrolling on our phones and seeing people in real life and sizing ourselves up based on other’s lives. ‘Do I have more wrinkles than her?” ‘Should I dye my hair darker like hers? It looks so good on her.’ ‘Am I witty and clever like her or only in my head?’ ‘Do I have faith like she does?’ We all do it. Consciously or unconsciously. I admit this is an area I want to work on. I see yet another engagement, another baby gender reveal, another home buying announcement. I compare and think will it ever be my turn?? And I confess, I can take it another step further and think, but they are younger or do they want it as bad as me or have they prayed for it as much as I have? I know, not pretty. I start a mental tab in my head of who deserves it more, when I know that’s not the right attitude at all, and I need to be happy for them in their time of joy, because after all I would want that for me. But, it can be so incredibly hard when it seems like everyone is just crushing you in the game of LIFE; getting all the good cards and spins. Lapping you. Just
going around the board and collecting $200 over and over and you are still stuck on START. Or you are waiting to be picked to be someone’s teammate, but you are still on the bench by yourself. Only it’s real life, not a game. And as a Christian, I see blessings all the time of God answering prayers and providing solid partners and babies and I know God can do the impossible and perform miracles. So, why don’t I see that in my own life? Am I not deserving of the same? It’s hard to not go to the dark side or think you aren’t enough. Or too much. That there is something wrong with you or you are doing something wrong that God isn’t fulfilling the desires of your heart.
Life is hard folks. It can be magically beautiful and so full of joy and laughter. But it can also be overwhelming, lonely, and painful. Grieving isn’t just reserved for death, but for the loss of the life we thought we would live. For the loss of dreams and plans. We all have some part of our lives we saw going differently. And then I think that can be a sore spot where we may feel like we don’t measure up and compare ourselves to our peers, looking for a way to assess our loss and make sense of it. And it can feel like it’s not fair and like you are just left out. I get it and then que in insecurity.
But on the flipside, I think comparison can actually be a good tool in changing our perspective and finding gratitude in our own situations. You see it can always be worse. You see the person in an abusive or cheating relationship just stay and put up with it for reasons I’m not here to judge. Or a housefire takes everything. Or a child is born with a debilitating illness. Or a car accident takes the life of a spouse. Or you see a homeless person who is maybe strung out and living on the streets in filth and squander. And you might think well this last example is self-imposed, but be thankful you were able to make better choices and maybe had more opportunities and saw hope. We could be one choice away from this causing a downward spiral in our own lives. My point is there is always going to be people who are smarter, stronger, prettier, more successful and there will always be people living in much worse situations, until Jesus comes back and wipes away every tear, where there will be no more sadness, anger, addiction, pain, poverty, or hurt. Until then, all we can really do is focus on our own path and what God is doing in and around us. I want to be someone that compares less and enjoys my own journey along the way more. I want to never give up hope or on my dreams and to follow and trust Jesus no matter where life takes me. And despite culture, be a woman secure in who God made her to be, bold in her faith, and excited about the future. I don’t know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future. “She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25