December 8, 2022
Comparison Kills Contentment
Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else (Galatians 6:4 NLT).
Friend to Friend
I was checking out my Facebook posts and feeling a little bit left out. It seemed everyone was having a big ole time with family and friends, and well, I wasn’t. It was Christmas time and it appeared that all the family gatherings were picture perfect…and mine wasn’t.
Pinterest postings of perfect sausage pinwheels. Facebook pics of glittery table setting with Christmas China and matching napkins. Instagram reels of happy families decorating a freshly cut tree. A passel of grandparents, parents, and kiddos dressed in matching Christmas pajamas. And you’re thinking, good for them, kinda.
And don’t get me started on Christmas letters—highlight reels that don’t show the part of the story left on the cutting room floor for no one to see.
Social media accentuates the culture of comparison by sending the false message that your monotonous tedious boring existence is a poor excuse for living compared to others whose lives are awesomely exciting all the time. Secretly, you hope your husband never stumbles across Pinterest to realize what a loser wife he really has. Mercy!
Social media breeds instant comparison at the click of a button. Comparing who has more “Facebook friends,” “re-tweets,” “followers” and “re-pins” is maddening. The age-old comparisons of appearance, accomplishments, possessions, and position are still around. Technology has simply magnified the access to other people’s lives, even though you’re only seeing what others want you to see. And I’m not talking about just the holidays, but the every days.
Comparison is the devil’s tool that he uses to undermine our confidence and kill our contentment like nothing ever will. It magnifies insecurities and fosters a self-absorbed pre-occupation of our inadequacies.
Comparison sullies the canvas upon which God longs to display His greatest work. Nothing will rob you of your confidence in Christ-like comparison. The measuring stick will get you stuck every time.
I love what Jesus said when Peter asked about John’s future. (Yes, he was comparing his future with John’s) “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:22) In other words, “It’s none of your business! Stop comparing!”
I love what Paul told the Galatians: “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else” (Galatians 6:4 NLT). In other words, do your best and don’t worry about what someone else is doing or not doing.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus picked such a ragtag bunch of blundering, blubbering misfits to be His disciples? Even though they stumbled their way through much of the gospels, once they were filled with the Holy Spirit, this uneducated, unrefined, untrained bunch of unruly fishermen changed the world.
A few days after Pentecost, the Jewish Supreme Court questioned Peter and John about their persistence in preaching the gospel and their audacity to heal a beggar lame from birth.
The dynamic duo preached a mini-sermon that struck the religious rulers to the core. But here’s my favorite part of the story: “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
The Sanhedrin leaders were mystified at how this bunch of scrappy, saw-toothed misfits could wax so eloquently. Then they had an aha moment. They realized the men had been with Jesus. That explained everything.
That’s what I want people to say about me! She’s an unschooled ordinary girl. How does she do what she does? Oh, I get it. She’s been with Jesus! Can you think of any better accolade? I sure can’t.
So, this holiday season, resist the tendency to compare your life to what you see of others. They are a mess just like you are…like I am…like the disciples were. But the more time we spend with Jesus, the more we will be resistant to Christmas comparison and refreshed by Christmas contentment.
Heavenly Father, help me not to compare my holiday celebration with others’. Christmas is not about the glitter but Your glory, not the parties but the Person of Jesus, not the presents but Your presence. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What are some ways you have compared your life with others in the past five days?
Think of ways others have compared their lives to yours during the past five days. (You don’t think they did? Oh sister, they did. Believe me.)
More from the Girlfriends
Do you have a married Girlfriend in God who could use a little encouragement in her marriage this Christmas? Click here to check out Sharon’s Marriage Resources including A 14 Day Romance Challenge, Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe, Lovestruck: God’s Design for Romance, Marriage, and Sexual Intimacy, and more! What a great gift~
© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Thursday, 08 December 2022.