Comparison is the Killer of Joy

Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram; all of the social media sites out there can be dangerous devices. I can personally say that, once a day, I go on Facebook and Pinterest to see what other people are doing. It is a great way to stay in touch with friends or family who live far away but it is an easy way to fall into the comparison game.

Normally, we all post the good things about ourselves. We put up pictures of the trips we have taken, the new car we bought or the new “toy” we got. How many times have you gone on to Facebook and wished you were able to do the things that others do or have the things that others have? I am guilty of this.

I see the homes people live in or the party they throw in their new home and I get jealous. Right now, my husband, my daughter and I are living in my grandparents basement. I am completely blessed to have a roof over our heads but desperately wish I had a home of my own. I dream, daily, of the future home I might have and when I see others posting a picture of their newly remodeled kitchen or newly bought home, I get jealous, and sometimes, a little bit depressed.

Deep inside, I know God has a plan for our lives and that a home may be a few years down the road but that is hard for me. This weekend, our pastor talked about how comparison can be a big part of depression and can often times steal our joy. For me, I do get depressed when I think about my situation. Living in my grandparent’s basement is not where I want to be but I often times forget about God’s plan.

Another comparison, I have failed deeply at, is the comparison of looks. On Snapchat, there are filters that make your eyelashes longer and your eyes sparkle. The filter also wipes your face clean and takes away any imperfections you may have. I have often times taken a photo on Snapchat and said, “Why can’t I look more like this? Why can’t my eyelashes be longer or my face look that smooth?” and once again, comparison has stolen my joy.

My husband tells me everyday how beautiful I am but then I think back to the filters on Snapchat and how I looked when I used those and I become depressed and self conscious. I tell him that I don’t feel beautiful and that there are so many things wrong with the way I look.

As I write this out, yeah it sounds stupid. God created me to be beautifully and uniquely different than anyone else. He made me and loves me just the way I am. God also gave me a husband who thinks I am the most beautiful person in the whole world. So how do we change from comparing ourselves to others to being content with what we have and being joyously thankful?

I want to challenge you all to do some things that I learned from my pastor.

  1. If you are dealing with depression due to comparison or comparison is consuming your every thought, get rid of social media for a while. See if it changes your view on life.
  2. If you are comparing the way you look by adding filters to your pictures, focus on only taking pictures without filters. Post the real you and see the beautiful comments that others say. Along with this, say three good things about yourself every day. Make it related to the outer and the inner beauty.
  3. If comparison is a comparison to the lives of others, wake up and say ten things you are thankful for; everyday. When you wake up the next day, come up with ten more. Continue to do this and make it a habit.

Comparison is not an easy thing to quit. It will be a hard and long road but the sooner you quit comparing yourself to others or to the “fake” version of you, the sooner your life will become brighter and more positive.

Trust me, I am struggling with these things too. And, especially in a time when my future seems bleak and uncertain, those are the times it will be most difficult to keep your focus and not compare your life. During this challenge, you will have good days and you will have bad days. There will be days you fail at being thankful and fall back into that comparison game; it is part of being human. However, when you do mess up, get back into the game of being thankful and joyful. God has blessed us with an amazing life. Let’s be grateful for the gifts He has given us and the blessing He has in store for our lives.

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