I think today's podcast episode is going to speak to your heart because I know many women that struggle with this, including myself.
Comparison is the thief of joy was a phrase first coined by Theodore Roosevelt. A phrase that was true back then and a phrase that rings through today, especially for moms.
It is so hard not to compare in our world of social media.
Have you ever had any of these thoughts?
How can she be such a calm mom?
I wish my kids ate as healthy and I had the time and money to prepare that kind of meal.
Her body bounced right back after pregnancy.
She seems to be able to read the Bible every day, it’s been weeks since I opened mine.
Her marriage seems so happy.
She seems to have so much more time to do the things she wants to do.
Maybe you know that comparison is a problem on a subconscious level but today I really want to dive deep into why it is such a problem and what can we do to stop or at least minimize it because I think its a struggle that we as humans have to really wrestle with.
In short. It steals your joy. It takes away your happiness and it causes you to be less than content with your situation. The Lord tells us to be content it all things. It is no mistake you are where you are today. God is sovereign and you are where he wants you to be but are you thriving in that place? This is where our action needs to come in.
I think as Christian women we have to find the difficult balance of being lavished in God’s grace and giving up control and surrendering to His will AND using the free will He gives us to thrive and bring glory to Him.
He has given you this husband and marriage but are you choosing well and cultivating growth so that marriage is everything God wants it to be. Is it a display of Christ’s love for the church and a light to others?
He has given you these children to raise but are you choosing well to raise them in His name? Teaching them about Jesus? Showing them what it means to Love God with all your hear and to love others?
He has given you the position you are at in work, or that business but are you stewarding that well?
He has given you financial blessings but are you using it to bless others?
If we are genuinely finding joy in the Lord and the enemy isn’t able to discourage us you better bet he is doing everything in his power to distract us and I know that I as a mom and many other moms in this world have this same problem. A big way the enemy distracts us is my comparison. He puts lies in our heads that what we are doing is not enough. And guess what no we are not enough without Jesus but with Him we are and we are not meant to run her race. We are meant to run ours.
Comparison can be such a tricky tactic of the devil because it either makes us feel low, insecure, and can even breed feelings of hopelessness where it stops us from being on mission. It stops us from doing the purpose God has for you here on earth OR we try to in our own control prove ourselves and can get prideful that oh actually we are better than them and can do that better than them. When God hasn’t even called us to that in the first place.
There are straight-up wrong things to compare ourselves to like a celebrity’s body or someone else’s fancy car. These things are not important to the kingdom. These are material things that do not matter at all in light of eternity. So we should guard ourselves strongly against that kind of comparison but there are “more honorable” things to like someone’s ministry or the number of people they have led to the Lord. The enemy will even use things like that to try to discourage you.
The thing is God has designed us all intricately and uniquely and He has given us all different gifts. He knows what types of sins we struggle with. All He wants is our dependency and our praise. He will do the rest.
Comparison will keep us from seeing the fruits of the spirit He has given and wants to grow in us because we are too focused on someone else.
Comparison doesn’t allow us to see our own blessings because we are so focused on someone else’s.
Comparison keeps us distracted and pulls us from our mission.
So How do we Overcome Comparison?
First of all, we need to stop caring so much about others’ opinions of us and do what God has called us to do. Galatians 1:10 says Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Every day we should be seeing the Lord’s approval, not other people’s. Especially if these other people you are comparing yourself to are not followers of Christ.
Secondly, we need to remove distractions from our lives as much as possible. This may look like limiting or even deleting social media or limiting the time you watch television, or spending less time on your beauty routine. Ask God to reveal to you what you can cut out in order to have more of Him. Allow Him to convict you on changing or removing distractions in your life.
Thirdly, I want you to love your life and if you don’t love something in your life make the choice to change whatever needs to be changed and love your life. Not happy with your marriage? Be intentional and pour into it. Flirt more, be intimate more. Go back to things you did when you were dating like writing love notes or surprising them with a gift or a night away. Don’t be complacent in the blessings the Lord has given you.
You don’t love your job? Ask God to reveal if you need to stay there and make changes so that you can love it more until you can move onto something that you do love. Or make that change now. Sometimes we feel these feelings of dread in our work because God wants us to be somewhere else. Or maybe He wants you to stay and persevere but to change your attitude in how ou show up there.
Don’t love your body? Well, you have the control to eat healthier and exercise and if you struggle with that then ask God to help you overcome. Practice fasting where you go to Him over food.
Feel overwhelmed by your kids and responsibilities at home? How can that change how can you love your days at home with your wild kids? What shifts can you make. So much of what seems hard or what makes us discontent is simply our thoughts. You are what you believe so stand from in the truth of who God says you are and believe better.
Take control of those negative thoughts and tell the enemy where to go. Rest in God’s provision and faithfulness and take action in cultivating growth in your life. Be honest with yourself.
You can decide right now that today is not going to be mundane and that you are not the victim. You get to decide the kind of mother you want to be, the kind of wife you want to be, the way you show up in your job etc. You decide. God has given you free will.
Your mission is to love God and love others and make Him known so that others come to know him too. That’s your simple purpose on earth and the ways God gives us to accomplish this mission are all unique but the goal is the same. So don’t worry about how someone else is doing something. You probably don’t know the whole story anyways.
It is so easy to play victim to our lives especially if we are stuck in the comparison trap.
So determine the root of your comparison and eliminate it, choose well, act on the convictions He gives and keep your eyes focused on Him. Be grateful for what you have and soak in those things. A really great practice is a gratitude journal. It is much harder to become jealous over what someone else has when we are focusing on the blessings God has given us.
Life is too short to focus on comparing your life with someone else. Comparison is not only the thief of joy but it is the fuel to the distraction fire and overall a huge waste of time.