“The distorted lens of social media amplifies the temptation to draw comparisons. When practicing Christian women compare themselves to their friends through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, they are 11 times more likely to say their friends have more status and privilege and 10 times more likely to say others are more creative. They are also more likely to believe others have a better career and superior ability to accomplish tasks.”- Barna Group Research
There are so many things that can steal your joy, but nothing steals your joy like comparison.
It robs you of joy and divine purpose.
Have you ever been having a great day and hop on Facebook real quick
and your left feeling joyless and an urge to strive for something more?
It happened to me just the other day. I was feeling pretty joyful that Mike and I had made waffles and ice cream for the kids to celebrate Valentines Day, until I saw on Facebook that most of my friends had gotten gifts for their kids. I found myself thinking I needed to go out and buy them each something. After all didn’t I want the best for my kids?
See social media has this way of whispering lies to us as women, that you need to be more, have more, and do more. If we are not carful we will be caught living out these lies, trying to prove ourselves to the world, instead of living our unique purpose for God’s glory. We will begin to put unnecessary pressure on ourselves and the people around us in order for us to live up to the false expectations of our mind. We are really putting too much pressure on ourselves. Jesus said “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
One of the dangers of comparing ourselves with others is that it can lead to jealousy and envy. Scripture says: “Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” (Romans 12:6 MSG)
“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that… Don’t compare yourself with others.” Galatians 6:4 MSG
So what’s the answer, boycott social media all together? No, I believe if we are aware of the trap, and replace these lies with truth then we could bring glory to God through social media.
Three Ways to overcome comparison.
1. Know who God is
What we believe about God is crucial because it affects what we believe about everything else. A distorted view of God will distort the way we see everything and everyone around us. One of the areas that is impacted by our view of God is our view of ourselves. If we do not see Him as he really is, if we believe things about Him that are not true, we will have a distorted view of ourselves and our lives.
For example, if we believe the lie that God is not for us and that he is not a good Father that provides for His children, then we will not bring our cares and concerns to Him. We will live from that lie by striving to reach our own goals, in our own strength.
Begin to study the character and love of the Father. Ask God to reveal the lies that you are believing. Then, replace the lies you believe with the truth of who God is.
2. Know who you are in Christ
If we will concentrate on becoming who God created us to be, instead of who we think we ought to be, or who someone else wants us to be, we will experience a sense of joy and peace that will enable us to resist focusing on what those around us are doing.
If you know who you are in God there would be no reason to compare. You are unique! And God is fitting you for a purpose like no one else’s. Cooperate with Him and His plans for you.
God’s purpose and plan for your life is settled in the heavens just like your salvation.
“Though the mountains move and the hills shake, my love will not be removed from you and my covenant of peace will not be shaken, says your compassionate Lord.” Isaiah 54:9-10
3. Being willing to celebrate others gifts and talents
“Now there are different gifts, but the same spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities but the same God activities each gift in each each person. A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is best.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
As I became aware of the comparison trap, I began to focus on who God is, who I am, and then I found myself being able to celebrate the gifts and talents of others. The truth that God’s love and promises are constant and immovable has never been more real to me. The immovablity of God means He is trustworthy. Who I am, as His daughter, and the plans He has for me, are settled in the Heavens. Since this truth, has never been more real to me, I am able to celebrate all that God is doing in others because my identity is founded in an immovable, trust- worthy God.
Don’t fall into the compassion trap and let it steal your joy. Let’s focus together to kick this joy stealer to the curb.
Blog post inspired by the book, Fight Back with Joy by Margaret Feinberg
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The Joy of the Lord is My Strength.