“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

So often we can look at others’ lives from a distance and see all the good things, and start to become discontented and think that our lives aren’t as cool, or as exciting, or as thrilling as those of our friends.

People used to tell me, “Madeline, you’re so cool!”  “You have the cutest outfits!”  “Can I be you?”  “I want your life!”

When people said these things, I was a little shocked.  Thanks for the compliments and all, but…

…are you sure you want my life?  Are you sure you want to be me?

What makes my life any better than yours?

Maybe you’re looking at the things I have.  Well, all these good things you see in my life are GRACE from God.  I don’t have these things because I deserve them or did anything to be worthy of them; I received them because God has been pleased to give them to me. But what you see is not all there is to my life.  I may focus on the good things when I talk to people or post stuff on social media or this blog, but just like everyone else, I have those days when I feel depressed, or feel defeated in the fight against sin, or when I just feel stuck.  Not to mention the various health issues, or all the little inconveniences that happen in life… etc., etc.  If you think my life looks perfect, let me assure you that it isn’t.  You may have things in your life that you wish weren’t there, but so do I.  While I may talk about some of these things once in a while with someone I trust, or do a very general blog post mentioning them, I don’t often go in detail to everyone about these things.  But just because you rarely hear about these things doesn’t mean they don’t happen to me.

So when you’re reading my blog or hearing me talk about all the good things about my life, or if you happen to notice the outfit I’m wearing and think it’s cute, or if you’re looking at my Instagram feed (which I haven’t updated in so long), or looking at such belonging to anyone else, please don’t let these cause you to be ungrateful for your own life.  I may own cute clothes or things or whatever else, but those do not define my worth as a person.  These things, while they are fun, don’t really improve my life, and will not last or truly matter.  I may post about exciting stuff that is happening in my life, but that’s not ALL that ever happens.  My identity is not found in the things I own or the things I do; it is in Christ – I am a sinner who deserves hell, but has been saved by God’s grace in Christ.  I’m not any better than you.

If your life seems boring to you in contrast with others’ lives, I encourage you to stop and think for a moment about the many ways in which God has blessed you.

Think of the people in your life that you love, the talents God has blessed you with, the hobbies you enjoy doing, the tastes, smells, sounds, etc. that bring you delight.  Look back at your past and see what God has done in your life that has brought you to where you are now.  Think about every little thing that puts a smile on your face.  These are gifts that God has placed in your life.  Enjoy them; be thankful for them.

Theodore Roosevelt has said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  That is so true.  When we compare our lives, our possessions, our wealth, the things that happen to us, etc. with others’, we lose sight of God’s grace in our own lives, and we forget to enjoy living and become miserable.  I’ve made that mistake so many times, and I don’t want to do that again.  And I don’t want you to either.

Let’s not compare ourselves anymore, but let’s be thankful for the lives we’ve been given, and enjoy them.  God has blessed each of us in so many ways.  In seeing the blessings that others have, let’s not be blind to our own.

-Maddie

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