Comparison is the Thief of ____.

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There is something beautiful,

Yet challenging,

About being present.

Present in the sense of fully embracing life as you know it,

Rather than wishing to be else where.

Now I’m not saying to neglect dreaming, hoping and working towards something.

But there is sweet peace that comes when we bask in the season we’re in,

Whether it’s where you want to be or not.

For we’re always going to hunger for something more,

It’s just how it is.

Once we get one thing we’ve been working towards,

Trust me,

Something else will arise.

We are constantly desiring more for our lives,

Which isn’t a bad thing.

I think it is a beautiful thing when we continually pursue,

And seek a life more laid down for the Lord.

But let me ask you this,

In all your dreaming and hoping,

Is your heart rooted in the right place?

Are you doing it for your own glory,

Acceptance,

Need?

Or are you doing it as you follow the Lord hoping to glorify Him and Him alone?

And I know sometimes it can be hard to discern,

As the Lord has placed desires on our hearts and gives us hopes and dreams.

But what I am trying to get across,

Is I think often times our motives steam from our own wants,

Our own needs,

Which can sometimes take away from our ability to be fully yielded to the Lord.

And I don’t know about you,

But the more I long to live following the Lord,

I realize how far off I am from it,

And how easy it is to start putting myself and my needs above the Lord.

 

It’s hard to not want what I want,

Or not wish things were different.

It’s hard to not compare,

It’s hard to live a meaningful life some days.

Especially  in the in between season,

The season where we aren’t yet where we want to be,

Or where we’re waiting for what we’ve always dreamed of.

For we have a tendency to not be present,

We strive for perfection,

We busy ourselves to feel worthy,

We link our value to our acceptance,

And we won’t rest until we’re as put together as they are.

Did you catch that,

“They”.

We tend to base our life off the lives of those around us.

And now with social media,

Not even around us but those we follow,

Those we see on tv shows,

Those we even hear about.

And by comparing our lives,

It doesn’t just take up some thoughts thinking about it,

But actually leads to depression,

To anxiety,

To taking away out ability to be content.

Leaving us unsatisfied.

Stealing our joy.

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the quote,

“Comparison is the thief of joy”

And it couldn’t be more true,

Not on in stealing our joy,

But in taking away our ability to see the utter beauty around us,

The wonderful uniqueness we have within us,

And the simple fact that all of our lives will look different,

But just because someone is doing something that seems more ‘valuable’

Doesn’t mean what you do in light of them is insignificant.

 

For the more we look to others and compare,

 

The more we fuel our dissatisfaction with ourselves.

The more we look to others,

That harder it is being present in our own lives,

Loving those around us,

Doing our job,

No matter how simple it may be,

Wholeheartedly with love.

Because if we don’t stop looking to others and wishing our lives were different,

Our lives will never be lived.

Which is heartbreaking.

And believe me,

I’m needing to hear this just as much as maybe you do.

 

Because we’re neglecting to live our lives,

And we use blame most of the time to keep us from doing so.

Blaming that our situation is different,

Or that they had better opportunities,

That that this isn’t where we want to be anyways.

But those negative thought patterns are also stealing from us joy and life.

The way we think,

The choices we make,

Whether we’re seeking to flourish,

Or allowing ourselves to become stagnant,

Shapes our life whether we’re aware of it or not.

And so the other day,

I was noticing that I compare a lot,

When things are hard,

Or have turned out different than I had expected,

I begin to question,

Blame,

Or get unsettled.

And in that moment,

I felt the Lord asked me,

“Is what I’ve given you not enough?”

I was humbled,

Realizing that it was as if I was throwing on the ground,

All that He had/has given me.

What He has given me to steward in this season,

The gifts He placed within me,

The life that I have before me to live,

And asked for something better.

 

 

It brought me to ask myself,

“Who am I to think that I deserve more?

Who am I to think that this,

All that I have,

Not even just here on earth but even more so in Heaven,

Not good enough for me to live embracing each day,

Embracing all the possibilities that lie before me regardless what my job is to glorify Him.

Who am I to throw away all that the gracious Lord has given me because it’s simply not what I want?”

And you may feel differently about life,

That is more than fine.

But for me,

These are revelations that I’ve been brought too.

Moments that have humbled me to see how selfish I really am,

How I long for the ‘perfect life’,

Or ‘what they have’

That I neglect living present right where I am.

Or the seasons where I’m waiting for something new to come,

That I throw away the time that He has given me because it’s not what I wanted.

It reminds me of this passage in the Bible,

But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?”
(Romans 9:20-21)

So to wrap all this up,

Comparison isn’t just the thief of joy,

But of life.

Now in no way am I saying to not strive for more in life,

For by all means,

I think the most beautiful way to live is striving to becomes less so Jesus may be made more in our lives.

But allowing His to refine us,

Prune us,

And ground us even more in His everlasting love.

However what I am trying to say,

And maybe you’ll disagree,

Is that life isn’t just all about us getting what we want,

Or seeking to have what they have,

Or even living a life of adventure or even comfort.

It’s about living a life yeilded and laid down to Him,

That regardless what may come,

The challenges,

The seasons of discomfort,

Or ones where we are waiting in hope of a better one to arrive,

That we must still be living all for His glory.

To seize each day,

Using all the He has given us,

To be present,

To love those around us,

And to continually seek to live an abundant life rooted in Him.

For that is the most beautiful way we can live,

Is striving not to gain more for ourselves,

But striving to know our Father more and more.

Everything else will one day fade,

And the adventures,

Pictures,

Thousands of followers,

Won’t make a difference unless,

Your heart was found in Him.

For beyond that,

Everything else is merely for us.

But those rooted in Him and Him alone,

Even the most mundane,

Ordinary,

Simple,

Unknown lives,

Are the ones who make the greatest impact.

The lives that were lived for the sake of the gospel,

Dying to self,

Rather than comparing and seeking a life known by many.

So may we stop comparing,

And rather cheer others on as they live the life they’re capable of,

Cheering yourself on as well as you live a life that you’re able too.

Never selling yourself short of all the beauty that can come from right where you stand.

Whether you’re working at your dream job,

Or in an awkward inbetween season,

Still live a life that matters.

Putting aside all that’s keeping you from living wholeheartedly,

And beginning to embrace each day,

All for His glory.

For once we let go of comparison and blame,

Which is usually a daily habit,

We are able to live joyfully with what we have, right where we are.

Ain’t life beautiful? 

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