October 7, 2014
“God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect. Let me add that He is also aware that the people you think are perfect are not. And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others...as a result we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does. “ -Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Each of us have a comparison meter. If you don’t think you have one, just spend 5 minutes listening to what you think while you’re on Facebook. I’m constantly comparing my house, my clothes, my relationships with other people’s. “Do I look like that? Does my house feel as inviting as theirs? Why doesn't my hair look like her’s? Why doesn't my husband bring me coffee in the middle of the day?” (That’s because I don’t drink coffee,but you get the idea…) Comparing my real life to someone else’s edited, “made for Facebook” life, is hard. Real life is messy! There’s not an edit or delete button. There’s no filter to make our hair, skin and clothes look perfect. We can’t stop time, take a photo and then take another if that one doesn't turn out okay. Real life is messy and wonderful and full of mistakes, but it’s real.
The Bible tells us that each of us are made in the image of God, that we all have special gifts and talents. Each of us is unique. But the hardship of comparison, is that sometimes, most of the time, I forget that I’m called to be just ME. I want to know how I measure up. I want to be them. Or have what they have.
Teddy Roosevelt said “Comparison steals your joy.” Boy was he right! Instead of being joyful that I have a beautifully messy life, complete with mistakes and fun. I find myself sad, that I don’t have the life I see online. Instead of counting it all joy that I have such a busy life that I may not have time to have fresh cut flowers every week, I become sad that I don’t have flowers on my table for all to see.
Comparing my real life with edited perfection steals my joy. Comparing our walk with Christ to other’s steals our joy. For years, and even to this day, I struggle with worry. I can worry all day and all night if I’d let myself. However Jeffrey, hardly worries at all. In my comparison of our “worry-meters” I lose the joy that while I used to be a terrible worrier, now I’m less so. I need to focus on what God is doing in my life and not just what I have to get better at. If “comparison steals your joy”, then perhaps the opposite can be true as well.
Joy, steals your comparison! When we are joyful at our real life, then we lose the need to compare ourselves to others. Let the Joy-meter in your life celebrate everything that happens, without comparison. When we ask God to remind us of how unique He has created us, how we have gifts and talents that He fashioned in us before we were born, then suddenly comparison doesn't have a place in our lives. There will always be someone who is different, and possibly better at some things than us. But the Joy of life is that we were created to thrive in what God has planned for us!
Let’s begin to look at social media and other’s lives through our real life perspective. Be brave enough to post that photo of your happy and messy house. Let your relationship with your husband or wife shine in all it’s imperfect glory! Tell us when you mess up, when you do things right. Let’s let the joy of living steal our need for comparison! Let’s live our lives in real time. No editing required.