We live in a world that defines our success, our importance, our worth, etc., by what we possess externally. So it comes as no surprise when I have a conversation with someone and find that they are consumed with comparing their life to those around them. As I sat and listened, I realized that most people don’t see that the very act of comparing is a trap the enemy uses to destroy us. It takes our focus off of the blessings God has given and leads to jealousy. God blesses each and every one of his children in unique ways and by comparing what God gives us to what he gives to someone else is not healthy. It takes us down a road of destruction and destroys our hearts from the inside out. Once the heart is affected, our actions follow suit and we become consumed. It is a fire that destroys everything in its wake.
I have sat back and watched people lie, cheat, and steal in an attempt to gain something they think will make them happy, yet lose everything important in the process. What good is it to gain the world if you lose your soul? To Satan, it is the greatest victory. To God, it breaks his heart.
So how do we protect ourselves from falling into the comparison trap?
- Set boundaries. For example, if you know that by looking at someone else’s Facebook page you will compare their life to your own, leaving you longing for what they have that you don’t, stop visiting their page. Remove them from your news feed. We can control what we put into our minds so be good to your heart by protecting it from things the enemy will use to tempt you.
- Be thankful. When was the last time you sat down and compiled a list of all the blessings God has given specifically to you? By doing this simple exercise, it shifts our focus onto what we do have instead of what we don’t. Thankfulness cultivates a grateful heart.
- Be patient. God wants to give us the desires He put in our hearts. By waiting on Him to provide what is best for us in His timing, we become content. We can anticipate the blessing without taking ourselves down a road of destruction in an attempt to possess something He isn’t ready to give us.
- Trust in the process. Have you ever thought that maybe God isn’t giving you something because you aren’t ready to receive it? His ultimate goal is our character. He wants us to look like Him and that process takes time. Until we are content with what we do have, we don’t have the capacity to experience the joy He provides when His blessings do come.
- Remember that God is a jealous God. He wants all the glory for the riches He provides to His children. If we are stuck in a place of giving ourselves credit for our success, our wealth, and whatever else we hold dear, He will find a way to remind us that He is the God of our lives, not us. And on the flip side, when we come to a place where we give God all the credit, His blessings seem to overflow!
So next time you are driving past that neighborhood, tempted to drive through to take a look at all the beautiful houses…or you feel the urge to go look at that new car your best friend just bought that you would die for…or you just want to scroll through that person’s Facebook page that seems to have everything you don’t, STOP. Remind Satan that he is a liar and that God is good and worthy of your praise and you refuse to let comparison kill your contentment!
When we’re squeezed what’s in us always comes out.
“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him.” Titus 1:16