Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Comparison Game

I've learned a lot about contentment these past few years. It's easy to look at others and want what they have. More money, nicer house, well-behaved kids, romantic husband, prettier face, skinnier body, etc. I enjoy reading blogs and on the screen I read about well-put together families, moms who do lots of projects with their kids, moms who decorate better than Martha Stewart, or cook better than the Pioneer Woman, husbands who are more romantic than Tom Hanks in You've Got Mail. It's easy to get caught up in the "oh, I wish I had that life". Is this you, do you sometime get bit by the jealousy bug? Or is it just me?
Don't get me wrong. I am very content with my life right now. I really am. I love where God has put us (and I'm quite excited about the future!), I love my husband, I love my kids. But, oh, sometimes, I let my mind drift to the "what ifs".
What if we still lived in America?
What if our church was bigger?
What if we had more money?
What if...
Satan likes that. Because when I allow those thoughts to run through my mind, I become discontent with the life has given me. So how do I combat this?
I don't have some great advice, well, actually I do. I quote Scripture. Some of my favorites are...
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
Philippians 4:8
"For we dare not make ourselves of the number,
or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves:
but they measuring themselves by themselves,
and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise."
I Corinthians 10:12
"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:19
By quoting Scripture, I am able to refocus. I need to be careful of the things I think. Coveting what others have is not pure or lovely or of good report. Comparing myself with others is not wise. And lastly, I need to remember that God has supplied all my needs (and many of my wants). God has given me exactly what He wants me to have in this season of my life.
Often what we don't see behind those blogs or status' on facebook is the struggles, the heartaches, the cranky kids, the dirty houses. We put up our best photo (often the 20th take), pics of our kids on their best days, the fun quote of the day, or whatever it is to hope no one sees behind that screen is a family who is imperfect. A family who struggles with sinful children, a sinful husband, a sinful wife.
Don't get me wrong. I post all the good stuff, too. I don't like reading about people's fights or whatever is bothering so and so. What I am trying to say is that we need to keep in mind that everyone has something going on in their life. It's not all roses.
So the next time you hear or read about someone else's blessing. Praise the Lord with them. Don't be envious. Keep in mind that everyone is facing some kind of battle. And although it may seem like the grass is always greener on the other side, keep in mind that yours could be too if you just watered it.
Do you struggle with comparing yourself to others?  What do you do to help keep yourself content with where you are?


  1. I think this is a timely and encouraging post, especially with the rapid spread of social media and blogs. Great Scripture about not comparing and meditating on what is true! When I check Facebook to see how friends and family are, I try to guard my heart from covetousness. Another great verse is: "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

    1. Thanks for reminding me of that verse. I'll add it to my list. :)

  2. Great post! Yes, I feel like the internet especially can be dangerous as far as temptation for comparison. When first discovering the blog world, I pretty much became convinced that there were women in the world (and apparently a lot of them!) who had everything all together all of the time. Their blogs looked that way! But I slowly realized, like you, that they are often sharing their special giftings and photo-worthy moments (which I love reading about and seeing!), but that they too are real people with plenty of things not worthy of snapping pictures of. I have to keep myself in check and make sure that I can rejoice with others in their gifts and thank the Lord for what He has and has not called me to. I like Romans 12:3-7 for this reason. I like the reminder to not think of myself more highly than I ought, and of course this is referring to spiritual giftings, but it is thinking of myself more highly than I ought if I think that I should be able to do all of the things that the Lord has called me to specifically, as well as have a Pinterst-perfect house, amazing meals for guests, perfectly behaved children, a thriving ministry outside the home, etc... God has intentionally not given me that capacity, and I need to use sober judgement to assess who God has made me, and what He has called me to do with what He has give me, and to be content with that!