When Comparison Steals Your Joy

I found myself comparing my life to someone else’s today. Again. It seems like this is only the 4,000th time I’ve done this. It seems to only happen when I’m by myself. I start thinking of all the things I want in life, a family, children, the perfect career, and I seem to end up looking at other women my age who have all that. And sometimes, like tonight, it breaks me.

One thing I just know is that I’m meant to be a wife. A mother. Some days I can have it all together and be accepting of the fact that I’m almost 30, and I’m neither.  Some days I find myself panicking a little because I feel like my time is going to “run out.” But I realize, as I’m sitting here typing this, I can’t put limits on God. He is a God of no boundaries, no limitations, no time or age limit. What seems merely impossible to us, is, in fact, absolutely possible with Him.

We know that good things come to those who wait. But have you ever seen someone wait so long, and patiently, on God to deliver what they’ve been longing and praying for? Then when He shows up, He delivers so much more than they could imagine? God rewards faithfulness. In James 1:12, it tells us:

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

Social media can be useful in many ways. However, it can be deceitful and hurtful in many ways as well. I’ve learned that I personally have to be careful when I spend any time on there. I’m sure it’s the same for many others. Maybe even you. In any social media platform, everyone can become anyone they want. They can share whatever they want, say whatever they want, promote whatever they want. They have the opportunity to make their life look grand, like everything is perfectly put together. But in reality, a lot of times, it’s not. It’s just a facade.

Comparison doesn’t just take place on social media. It can take place anywhere, at any time of the day. You can find yourself comparing your life, looks, abilities to someone you may know very well, or even a complete stranger you come across. But what we have to remember is this- GOD MADE EACH OF US UNIQUE. So why should we be wasting any time wanting to be like someone else, or wanting to have what they have? God gave them their own story, their own family, their own situation. And that’s them, whether they live out there life truthfully or not.

I’ve realized that when we start secretly wishing we had what someone else has, we don’t just lose sight of ourselves, but we lose sight of our purpose. What has God placed you here for? What are you supposed to be doing in your own life? See, He equips each person with their own special talent, ability, purpose. Their life is supposed to be different from yours. If it wasn’t, we would all be the same and God couldn’t use us the way He originally intended to.

That person may be able to reach others in a way that you cannot. For example, maybe they travel all over the world and meet hundreds of people every week. Since we are called to be disciples (see Matt. 28:18-20), they’re able to reach out to others that you may never see in your lifetime on this earth. Maybe that other person is a well-known author/speaker. They’re able to reach hundreds, maybe thousands, of people. Maybe you’re single, a teen, newly married, separated, outgoing, introverted, unemployeed, CEO, or a stay-at-home mom. But guess what? YOU HAVE A PURPOSE! No one can take your place and walk the walk that only YOU can.

Maybe you’re not traveling around the world, maybe you’re working 9-5 Monday-Friday. You may feel like you’re in the same old routine, day in and day out. But are you living your purpose? Are others able to look at you all times of the day, and see Jesus? Are you sharing the Good News with them? Maybe you’re a student of some level. Are you showing God’s love to your fellow classmates? Are you standing up to those who are constantly picked on and overlooked? Maybe you’re a stay-at-home mom with 1+ children. Are you raising them with the way of The Word? Are you showing them how we’re supposed to depend on God and have faith? Maybe you are around certain people that most people aren’t? Do others reach out to you when needing help or advice?

See, it doesn’t matter what you do and where you are in life. It doesn’t matter how young or how old you are. It doesn’t matter if you’re single or if you’ve been married for 50 years. THIS JOURNEY IS YOURS. God blessed each of us differently, for a reason. It’s up to us to really grasp and understand that and live out our purpose. No, you’re not going to have what someone else has. You’re not going to talk like someone else does. But that’s okay… in fact, it’s great! You have your own chance to go out and make a difference, every single day.

So next time comparison comes sneaking around, remind yourself that you have your own life, which is wonderful, that you must live. You have special gifts, talents, abilities that others don’t. You go places and deal with people that other’s will not. You have something unique to offer and share with the world! And just like me, you’ll soon realize that there was never a reason to compare in the first place.

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