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The Comparison Game & how to overcome comparison with truth about where God has us right now



I'll admit it.


I struggle with comparison. A lot.


I fall into this sick game of romanticizing other people's lives, dwelling on their highlight reels, and pounding myself with questions on why I'm not living up or measuring up or being enough. I am my worst critic, and I constantly feel like I'm falling behind or that my life isn't what it should be.


And that, my friends, is a very quick way to stomp all the joy out of your life.


This has been a super big thing on my heart lately. It's true, comparison is the thief of joy. And when I am so focused on what other people are doing, what I'm not, and believing the lie that not living a perfectly aesthetic or social media worthy life lowers my value as a human being, I lose my joy. I suck the happiness out of every beautiful thing, and that is not the way I want to live my life. Not at all.


One of my friends sent me the sweetest poem, and two of the lines read,


"The other side may have greener grass,

But you've always wanted to live by the ocean."


And my eyes filled with tears immediately, because how true is that?!


So often I get caught up in wanting what others are doing, wanting to be involved, wanting my life to look like there's, but I forget to step back and remember what really, truly fills my heart.


And oftentimes, okay, maybe most of the time, that isn't what the rest of the world is doing. Having a jammed filled schedule does not fill my soul. Being out all the time does not fill my soul. Dressing cute 24/7 does not fill my soul. All of these things that I see the world doing, and that I start comparing myself to - I never wanted that anyways. I want a slow, easy pace of life, where I can enjoy the moments and notice the small, beautiful things. I want space to inwardly reflect on myself, to be by myself, and to dwell with the Lord. I want comfy, cozy, genuine. And in reality, these aren't the things that look especially good. I'm not going to go back to school in the fall with a long list of exciting, thrilling memories and adventures. But I am going to go back knowing that I wasn't striving to look like someone else, for my life to look like someone else's - I'm going to be a whole lot more content and peaceful because I was intentional about understanding on what actually fills my heart instead of what will look good.


And not only is this not even what I want for myself, I don't think it's what God wants for me either.


Maybe, if God wanted me to be like that person, He would have made me that person. But He didn't, did He? He created me to be me, uniquely myself, with my own quirks and traits. And that's okay. It's more than okay; it's the beauty of God's creation that we were never made to be someone else and our lives were never made to look just like theirs.


And maybe, instead of wanting me to copy someone else (a beautiful creation, yes), He wants me to just walk in the purpose and the season He has me in right now (which is also a beautiful thing).


I know that comparison is such a big struggle in our culture today, because we're constantly hearing the message (either from ourselves, the devil, or even the people around us) that we aren't enough, but I want to tell you that you are enough. God has put you in this time and place for a purpose, and it's perfectly okay if that purpose does not look like someone else's purpose. (Also, just a reminder - that does not lower your value, importance, or beauty.) As I struggle and work through this myself, I'm learning that my life was never meant to look like someone else's. I'm learning to step back and ask God what He wants me to prioritize in this season, and then looking to Him for guidance on if my life is looking the way it's "supposed to".


If you're struggling with this too, you're not alone! I'd encourage you to pick a time to really, actually sit down with the Lord and have a chat about what He wants you to prioritize and invest in this season. Bring a notebook and a pen, and turn off all distractions (including the notifications on your phone), and create space to actually listen to God. He has the most perfect plan in store for us, and I'm coming to realize that it's probably a lot smarter to listen to what He wants me to do instead of alllllll of the opinions around me. You with me?

 

The other night I was reading a couple Psalms out loud, and I came to Psalms 23. It's a classic, but it struck me in a new way as I've been wrestling with this idea of walking in my own unique path, living my life according to what God has designed me to instead of what everyone else is doing. The first three verses say,


"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lay down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake."


When I read, "I lack nothing", my heart kind of settled on that for a minute. I wanted to feel what it was like to lack nothing, but as I kept reading, I realized - I really do lack nothing.


It's easy to feel like I'm not enough, like I'm missing out when I'm watching everyone else go out, have fun, and make big memories. I feel like I'm lacking something when I'm focused on what they're doing and I'm not. But that's not the way God called us to live - no, all He wants is to walk beside us, to bring us rest, refreshment, and guidance. He wants to lead us in a life full of joy and simplicity and contentment, and it is then that we lack nothing, NOT when we are included in everything or when our lives look like we're not missing out and perfectly put together.


That is the key to lacking nothing.


And that, my friends, is how you beat the comparison game.


When we walk with the Lord, side by side, enjoying the little things He points out to us and allowing ourselves the freedom to not be like everyone else, we can't help but realize that comparing the journey Jesus has with us against what He has with other people is silly. It's only taking away from all the abundant life we can lavish ourselves in. So, instead of losing my joy, my peace, and all that God wants me to experience - I'm going to keep my eyes on Him, walk alongside Him, and overcome the struggle that the comparison game is. And it is then that I realize that I have all the most beautiful blessings in the world, handcrafted from God just for me, and I really do lack absolutely nothing.

 

I am not perfect, and I cannot claim to never struggle with comparison because it's simply not true. But, when we seek the Lord and His perspective on how difficult it can be to constantly compare ourselves to others, it is mindblowing how much truth He pours into our heart and mind. I'm learning to lean into what God is calling me to focus on and prioritize in this season, and be intentional about obeying that purpose. I'm learning that "lacking nothing" doesn't have to mean living a schedule filled, constantly going life, one that looks good, but usually means slowing down and dwelling with the Lord. I'm learning to find joy right where Jesus has me, and I am so grateful for what He is doing.


I pray that this post was able to encourage you wherever you're at. I truly am such a work in progress and it is my desire that the things God is teaching me will be able to teach you as well.


Is there anything that stuck out to you and encouraged you from this post? Is there anything that God is teaching you recently that you want to share? Let me know down in the comments below!

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