Comparison is the thief of Joy – This citation is not new. As a matter of fact, it was Theodore Roosevelt that said it so it is at least 100 years old (don’t quote me on that but 100 sounds more dramatic).
Most of us have heard it before or we have seen it appear on our screens while scrolling through pictures on Instagram envying people that are ‘always’ on vacation, ‘always’ stunting new clothes or ‘always’ so in love (urgh these lovebirds).
How do we know they are ‘always’ doing that? Easy! We check on them at least once a week just to stay up to date.
“See, she’s out and about again” “I wonder how she can afford it?” “Her parents must pay for that, cause she wasn’t that smart in school”…
We are so busy keeping up with what everybody else is eating, wearing and whom they are dating that we don’t take the time to find out why we even care.
What we dislike in others is often a weakness in our own lives.
― Gary Chapman, The 5 Love Languages: Singles Edition
Now I am not suggesting that we are all unhappy with our own lives because we love watching snaps of somebody else’s.
Related post: Bible Verses About Love
However, I believe that the time we spend comparing ourselves to others is a waste of the precious minutes God gave us on earth. Instead, we can use it to brainstorm and implement changes into our own lives that will enable us to experience abundance.
After all, the future is not an automatic continuation of the present, rather a direct result of our attitude and efforts now. So could it be that the person we are comparing ourselves to just took the decision to create a life she desired in the past and now we are spectators of the results?
[clickToTweet tweet=”The future is not an automatic continuation of the present, rather a direct result of our attitude and efforts now.” quote=”The future is not an automatic continuation of the present, rather a direct result of our attitude and efforts now.” theme=”style2″]
I’d like to point to one of my favorite stories in the Bible in the book of Ruth. Even though Naomi is not the main character, her tragedy has always fascinated me.
After the death of her husband and two sons, Naomi was heartbroken, bitter and disappointed. She felt miserable and was without joy because she was a widow and couldn’t bare any more sons to take care of her and her daughter-in-law.
Despite the fact that Naomi experienced great hardships in her life, she refused to turn her back on God and took action to change their future. She instructed Ruth with the right plan to win over Boaz as a husband and they succeeded.
Now imagine Naomi wouldn’t have trusted God and acknowledged his goodness. Instead, she would have decided to accept her misfortune and envied all the other women in town. ‘Why are their sons alive, but mine dead?’ ‘Why do they have grandsons and I only have a step-daughter that can’t provide for me?’.
Imagine the blessing she would have missed out on!
Luckily, she realized that her blessing did not look anything like those of the other women, but was still worth working for. And then, thanks to her plan, Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David and an ancestor of Jesus!
This story shows us that there is no benefit in comparing our lives to others and wishing we could be like them or have similar things.
We are all different which makes our lives and stories unique. Now you might look at me sideways because you don’t believe I actually practice what I post.
And yes sometimes I do that. I look at the skills and belongings of others wondering why I don’t have what they have.
Heck, I even struggled with this blog and was afraid it wouldn’t look as cute or professional as those of others. But every time I do, I remember these 3 things which really help me not just accepting, but owning my journey:
There are moments in life when things don’t go as planned. We end up being annoyed or frustrated that our lives aren’t picture perfect or don’t meet society’s standards (whatever that might be). But here’s the thing:
Nobody’s life is perfect!
Sure, the challenges are real and the fact that my right eyebrow isn’t identical to my left one is quite upsetting, but you know what: there is so much we can be thankful for. Health, Family, Opportunities, and Eyebrow Pencils!
We tend to forget our privileges and concentrate on what we don’t have, which is dangerous. Instead, we should remind ourselves of all that we have to be grateful for and truly appreciate those things.
Related post: How to avoid instant gratification
We all have dreams we would like to see coming to fruition, but only a few of us understand that we have to work for it.
We can’t depend on others or luck to make it happen, rather we need to take initiative and put in the effort to succeed. Just like Ruth wasn’t too good to work hard and glean behind the harvesters to supply for her needs, we shouldn’t be afraid to work hard either.
God wants to and will provide for you, but you have to take the first step. Remember only a moving car can be steered.
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Related post: 10 Bible Verses about Patience
Every day is a new opportunity
Ever went to sleep disappointed and without hope?
Then you wake up the next morning and you realize that nothing is lost, but everything to be won?
That’s the attitude we need to adapt as believers. The mere miracle that we wake up every morning with a new chance to create a life we desire is God’s grace upon our lives.
Therefore we should make good use of our strengths and resources to transform yesterday’s challenges into today’s opportunities.
Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others and embrace God’s plan for our lives.