I’m over it.
You know what I’m talking about.
Buying those shoes you don’t need and can’t afford because you got an email telling you that you “deserve” them and, hey, they’re 10% off.
Following (and envying) that mom on Instagram that has the house that’s always clean while she homeschools her twelve beautiful children and DIYs everything (and it always turns out perfectly). (Of course, none of that is true.)
Staring at that woman in front of you during church because you wish you could cut your hair like that, but if you did, it would never look that good.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
For some, it’s a silent battle–we know that comparison is a slippery slope that leads straight to misery and we try to get better. We unfollow that Instagram account (only to start following another one a few days later).
We’ve all heard the quote:
Comparison is the thief of joy. -Theodore Roosevelt
For others, they don’t even try to fight it anymore. I see #goals posted on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram daily. #relationshipgoals, #marriagegoals, #bodygoals, #boyfriendgoals, and the list goes on.
You may argue that it’s simply a way of complimenting another person.
I disagree. Why don’t we compliment one another with meaningful words of affirmation? “You are beautiful.” “You are creative.” “I am thankful to have you as a friend.” “You inspire me to be the best version of myself.” Use full sentences for heaven’s sake.
Instead, we have a generation of women (and I would assume men) who want to be like everyone else.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
It’s a sin issue, folks. Let’s call a spade a spade.
We often think that God’s commandments are restrictive or oppressive. But I believe that they are the opposite–they offer freedom. God created me and you, so He knows what makes us flourish. And He knows what makes us miserable and distracts us from Kingdom work. So does the Enemy. Focusing on what someone else has simply keeps us from being thankful for what we’ve been given.
I’m as guilty as the next person.
When I was in college, my favorite show was What Not to Wear. I enjoyed shopping. I enjoyed looking up-to-date and fashionable. Tanning bed, regular hair appointments, eyebrow threading, etc. There’s absolutely nothing inherently wrong with these things (tanning bed is debatable); I simply had more time and resources to spend on my image during that period of my life.
Fast-forward a few years and I am the stay-at-home-mom of two girls. All my shopping is done online and for them. We rent our house. We aren’t trying to climb the ladder of worldly success–we’re actually moving backwards in the eyes of many people. We eventually want to farm full-time. We want to have more children and homeschool. The last thing on my mind is whether or not my eyebrows are “on point.” I’m lucky if I put on make-up more than twice a week.
The point is–my life is not glamorous. But it is beautiful. It’s the life that God has given me. Not you. And your life has been given to you–not me. So quit comparing your life to everyone else’s. In all likelihood, they have problems that you may never know about and would never want. But don’t find comfort in that–want the best for yourself and others. And remember that your life is exactly what you need to make you more like Jesus. What else would you want?