It’s the enemy of a contented life.
It’s the thief of joy.
It lies to us when it whispers that we must self-promote.
It gives birth to envy, jealousy, anxiety and ambition.
And no one has escaped it and its consequences.
Comparing oneself to others is always, always a losing proposition. Either it promotes feelings of inferiority or it promotes ugly feelings of superiority. When we compare ourselves to others, we usually end of either labeling ourselves a “loser” or we pin a self made “blue ribbon” on our arrogant attitude. Both positions result from focusing on self and relying on self righteousness for success.
We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. And that’s ok because both can be used for good.
In today’s culture, it is easy to blame social media but the blame really lies within ourselves. We can, however, be aware of the danger of permitting such platforms to measure our value and worth.
Reading John 21:20-23 we discover that it only took minutes for Peter to fall into the trap of comparing himself to his fellow disciple, John. One minute Peter was being assured of his value, worth and calling. The next minute, he was comparing himself to his friend. One minute he was following Jesus and the next, he turned his head, focused on John, and asked Jesus, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
And here lies the answer to defeating the spirit of comparison…”you must follow me.” Eyes focused on Jesus. Following Him wherever He takes us. Enjoying His company as we walk into His personalized calling for us.
Following Jesus requires trusting Him and His character. It requires that we believe we are who He says we are…not what others may think. We can’t allow others to be our measuring stick. Others don’t get to define us.
Following is a choice. Contentment is a choice. Both are born out of humility. It is entirely possible to celebrate our lives and callings as we celebrate other’s gifts and talents.
God has taught me a lot about this topic through the writing of this blog. I know that its inception was a gift from God and an opportunity to spend time with Him. I know He has used it to teach me about leaning on Him and His ability to overcome obstacles.
But if I take my eyes off this truth for one minute, I can succumb to questioning the value of a post. I can begin to wonder if I really have anything of value to share. I can remember my limitations. I can compare myself to the many who are more talented, more experienced and more educated.
So I’ve been learning to capture my thoughts and redirect them to the One who first said, “Write for My glory.” God has worked through my limitations. He seems to delight in using the foolish. He has revealed His power to do the impossible.
I have enjoyed this journey because I have enjoyed Him. I am grateful for His teaching me, convicting me and displaying His kindness to me every time I sat at my computer. He has been gracious and patient. He has been faithful.
Thought to ponder:
When has comparison attacked me? Why were my eyes drifting away from Jesus?
3 thoughts on “The Thief of Joy”
Deb, you are a very gifted writer. Your observations are always meaningful and convicting and enlightening. It’s never fluff, but always deep and insightful. Always remember how profoundly God is using you to teach important lessons. He called you and equipped you and you are following His lead and, as a result, you are a blessing to so many. Thank you for listening to Him and to sharing what He gives you. Love, Bev
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And you, my friend, are always kind!
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Deb! Thank you for your wisdom, your knowledge and your humility. I really appreciate your sharing what He is teaching you along the “Way”!
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