Someone smiles with perfect, white, straight teeth. They are posing for a picture with their friends who seem to be having a good time. The background is of a spectacular view. Perhaps out of town. Something within you churns. Why aren’t you there? Why are they having such a good time without you? Jealousy. Envy. Coveting. It’s all happening in your heart because you started to do something that is so dangerous:
You started comparing.
What is it about us that we compare our situation to someone else’s? We are all individually created, “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). All of us have unique situations that are cause for varied celebrations. Sometimes, our comparisons are like apples to oranges.
Think about this. You don’t know how much pain it was for that person to get that perfect smile, not to mention how much money they might have had to pay. You don’t know how each person was feeling in that photo. Did someone have a stomachache, a fight with their girlfriend two hours before, a surgery in the coming week? Pictures on social media don’t tell us the whole picture. Yet, they create so many emotions among people. Comparing ourselves to others is deadly. It can lead to heartache, unrealistic expectations and depression. Be careful when you happen to check social media platforms. Why not keep the following in mind:
Be thankful. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Be content. Philippians 4:11-13 says, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
Being content and being thankful please the Lord. Murmuring and complaining have always turned him off. So instead of comparing yourself to others, how about doing something healthy with your time?
Can you make a list of all the wonderful things in your life that God has allowed you to do and experience? Add to that list daily and give God praise. Let this be a journal of praise. Have some fun and decorate your journal to give it a personal touch of beauty.
Also, can you begin to rejoice with them that rejoice and thank God for the joys He has given to people you care about? Love “does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Pray for the people in your life. Worship the One who has given us the gift of relationships and abundant life. Thank God for how He is taking care of your family and friends. Isn’t that a blessing worth smiling about?
Together we can make the switch from comparing to contentment. Stop spectating. Get in on the fun. Make your own memories. Plan the trip. Set aside time for the special people in your own life. Savor this day. Have that adventure. God is so good and I’m so glad others are experiencing His wonderful benefits as I am too.
Kick comparisons to the curb.
Adios to comparing! I’m too busy being thankful and being content.