Is comparison the thief of joy?

Is it in our nature to compare our lives? When we were children we compared things like toys. Who had the coolest, newest, loudest toy. As we got older it was popularity, in our twenties maybe it was education, or a career. It could be looks, cars, status, spirituality, success, ministry, house,                                               our children. We are constantly comparing our lives to the people around us. It seems almost impossible not to do with social media. I wonder why we post on social media at all. is it simply to share our lives with others, or is there more to it? If we were honest would our captions read more like, "I look cute here, so I wanted you to see". Or, "I'm a really good mom, look at what my kid is doing".  We post the occasional "real" picture like its suppose to be good enough to make up for hundreds of other envy inducing ones. But why is comparison so bad? I think comparison isn't necessarily bad, but often times it can lead to discontentment, and that I think, is the real thief.

I saw a picture on my IG of this incredible house! The caption read something like, "when I feel sad that our house is not that big, I look at all the progress we made". I wondered how anyone could be sad about having a house that beautiful. Then I was reminded of two things... I cant possibly know someones life based on an Instagram picture, and people who are unsatisfied, will always be unsatisfied. Thats not to say that she was. I think there are things we should be discontent with (suffering, discrimination, act of violence, ect.). But often our dissatisfaction with life is our lack of fulfillment in God. We are not finding our treasure in God, so we cant seem to find any satisfaction in our life. That is really the problem with discontentment.

Our reaction to circumstances is always a great measure of our spiritual well being. We are awesome Christians until something is required of us. How would we react if a tree fell on our house today and ruined all of our things? Would we be heartbroken? Would we be upset and angry that something like this happened? Or could we recognize that even though its a pain, its just stuff. Easier said then done, right?

How content can we truly be in our circumstances? With our life? Our children? What motivates is a good way to judge our contentment. Am I doing everything in the light of wanting to have a better house, or am I doing it for the glory of God. Am I doing things so that I can say my kids are the smartest? Or am I faithfully serving God and ministering to my children? We should be constantly questioning our motives and our hearts desires, because there are a lot of things we can fake, but contentment isn't one of them.

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Richard Valdivia said...

Hebrews 13: make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have, for He Himself has said (if you don't know what is said here, you might imagine a verse about needs being met or the like) for He Himself has said, I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.

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