Comparing is Emotional Cancer
I need this reflection today, the day after Christmas. Maybe someone else out there does too.
Yesterday, Christmas Day, my 13-year old daughter was opening Snapchats from her friends and exclaiming, "She got the iphone 11 pro?!?" "He got an Apple watch?!?" and "She got a new Xbox?!?"
She had begged for several years for an iphone until finally this year for her birthday, we allowed her to get one with her birthday money. An older one: an iphone 7. We found THAT to be extremely extravagant, as it was the most expensive phone in the house. Coincidentally enough, she dropped it a couple months later and cracked the screen, so she had to wait about 6 months until she earned enough money to replace the screen.
All this envy and comparing had me horrified.
Yet it is a human affliction. I realize I struggle with comparisons every day.
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok...social media in general...is notorious for causing contentment erosion. I find myself becoming unknowingly dissatisfied and critical of my own life.
I don't look as young anymore. We don't have a big house. We don't go on extravagant vacations every year. I don't make a lot of money. My kids don't have straight A's. I've never owned a new car. We don't have new iphones or perfect hair or a huge backyard.
Even worse, I compare my abilities to others'. I am not a trained photographer: my photography doesn't hold a candle to the photographers on Instagram. I can't draw or paint from memory: I will never be as good as other artists out there. I can't sing like Lauren Daigle. I can't write like Kristin Hannah. Falling down the rabbit hole of "I will never be..." and "I can't..." and "I am not..." instead of the emotional cancer cure to comparisons, "I AM!"
I am compassionate. I am empathetic. I am creative. I am thoughtful. I am loved. I am joyful. I am intelligent. I am content.
See, there will always be someone, multitudes of someones, who is more talented, more capable, and better at whatever I'm trying to do than I am. And there will always be someone who is worse.
THIS IS NOT THE POINT.
God gave me a unique combination of gifts and abilities that ONLY I HAVE. He gave me the house, the kids, the husband, the life, the talents that I was supposed to have to fulfill the purpose He has for me.
The best thing I can do, and teach my kids to do, is to avoid comparisons at all costs and seek only God's approval, not the world's. I have a duty and am compelled by God to focus on my own journey, my own lessons, my own faith walk and not anyone else's.
To criticize my Maker for neglecting to give me certain possessions, talents, or achievements would be foolish and silly. Has He not given me exactly what I require? Has He not provided for my every physical need? Has He not abundantly blessed me in ways I cannot begin to count?
Comparison is cancer to the soul. It robs us of gratitude, contentment, and the desire to follow God's path for our lives.
God has given me more than enough. He has matched my abilities and capabilities to my calling. I only need to use them for His glory.
The world says I will never be enough, I will never have enough, I will never do enough. But God says the opposite.
So my prayer today is that I will remember His grace, His promises, and His will for my life. Because all that matters is that
HE SAYS I'M ENOUGH.
"If my life is fruitless, it doesn't matter who praises me, and if my life is fruitful, it doesn't matter who criticizes me."
"God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God's many blessings."
1 Peter 4:10 (LB)
Peace and immeasurable blessings to you,