“Comparison is the thief of joy”
That statement has been on repeat in my mind for about a month. It was the 3rd of February, when 5 friends and I sat down and had a discussion about how we were in our 20’s and didn’t have much to show for it.
What??? Didn’t have what?? I mean what standard were we comparing ourselves to? Who made the rules that by 25 you should be in a committed relationship heading towards marriage or that you should own your first car? Or that you should be at a job that pays you 4 or 5 figures? The conversation started out very light and humorous. I mean just a bunch of friends teasing each other about being in our mid to late 20s and being ‘behind’. Before we knew it, the Holy Spirit had arrested our minds and brought our attention to two of the problems of our generation; stupid expectations and comparison.
To be honest, it is getting or maybe has gotten disgusting how much we play down on our values and self-worth because we haven’t met some man-made timelines and goals. Our entire lives are based on what someone else has, has done, has been, can afford. Every single person out there suddenly seems to have it better than you. Your iPhone 5 was working just fine for you until you met that classmate from high school with the iPhone 7. Your mum’s 2006 car was good enough until a worker in your building came to work on Monday with a new 2012 version of your car. You were single and happy till your best friend brought ‘bae’ over. You were beyond fine with your salary until a little birdie told you how much someone your age somewhere is being paid.
” It’s disgusting how much we play down on our values and self-worth because we haven’t met some man-made timelines and goals”
STOP IT! JUST STOP IT! Stop doing that. It’s a dark long road going nowhere once you tread that path. The moment you give room for comparison or buy into the lie of the worldly endorsed timelines and deadlines, the devil would fuel it with pleasure. I would never stop saying this, the devil said himself in Job 1 that he was roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it, obviously looking for an empty vessel. Looking for someone to give him an entry to redefine the whole meaning of life and success. Don’t do it I say, do not compare yourself to anyone, not your parents, not your siblings, not your childhood friend, not your colleague, classmate, course-mate, family friend, neighbor or just some stranger on the internet. JUST DON’T DO IT!! It just steals your joy and takes you on a trip to nothingness. You become so busy trying to ‘catch up’ with everyone else, you lose the beauty of the journey, you lose the character God is trying to build in you in the ‘delay’. You lose the uniqueness God gave you because to have what everyone has, you need to become like them. You settle for things you shouldn’t be; that job you absolutely hate but pays well, that abusive relationship. You drag yourself into a funk because everyone else has A LOT going on for them but you. You create this mental checklist with assigned timelines and then get depressed when you don’t meet them at the set time you gave.
2 Corinthians 10:12 (NLT) Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!
LISTEN! We are all running different races, we are all on different pages of our stories, we are all in different battles, we are all being trained differently for different appointments. We are all unique, special, different even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. You don’t know how long the other people have prayed for what they have now. You don’t know how much prayer had gone ahead of them by their parents or grandparents. You also don’t know the sacrifices they had to make to get there, the things they had to give up and lose out on to get to the place they are now. They are running THEIR race, maybe God needs them to own a house and car or be married at 20 for a specific purpose tailored specially for them. He needs them to be globe trotting for a reason specifically for the journey they are on. God may need them right where they are at that particular point for a reason. He may not need you to have that now or have that in that manner or packaging. It doesn’t mean He’s forgotten you or is late on His delivery. On the flip side, you don’t know what they sold out to live like that, you don’t know what compromises they made or who they had to bow down to. Don’t forget when the devil tried to get Jesus to bow to him, he offered him the ‘goodness’ of the world (Matthew 4: 9) We are under NO compulsion to do or be something that someone else is. Trust me, God has you right where He wants you and He alone has the power to take you where you ought to be and in the timeframe He needs you to be there. Don’t let the devil redefine what being successful is or what winning at life is. The only one who can define that is the person who created you. The One who you brought into this world at that specific time you were born to accomplish a specific purpose.
LOOK OUT! The devil is after your time, he’s after your peace and your joy, he’s looking to distract you from what NEEDS to be done. He’d wave that flashy life at you knowing well that he doesn’t promise a good and expected end for you. The devil is a thief! He robs you of the most important commodity ever; TIME! He fills your head with so many lies concerning how fallen behind you are, how pathetic and sad your life is and how he can offer ‘better’. How your age mates are making it, becoming and living large. How waiting on God’s time is idiotic and why trusting God doesn’t give you the large, loud, fast yet fruitless life he can. Oh no no he’s not saying it the way I am right now, he’s not presenting the risks, he’s not presenting the the things you lose. He presents this ‘goodness’ in every little thing he knows you want, he knows would catch your attention then when those seeds of untruth are sown into your life, he fuels it with worry! You spend a whole bunch of time worrying about it, worrying about our far behind on your checklist you are, how far from meeting your deadlines you are.
CHIN UP! You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are not one of THE kind, you are one of A kind. You are unique, you are special, you are rare and exceptional! Don’t let anything or anyone make you feel less than you are. Don’t let the devil and the things he offers make you conform to the patterns of this world. Don’t let them push you to miss the process and lose your peace and joy. Don’t let him make you feel like you are less than you are. People would always be ahead of you but remember that someone’s hugest and loudest prayer is to have the very things and life that you have right now at this moment. Someone sees your life or your position in life as a dream. God is more interested in what He’s doing in you than where He’s taking you. He’s more concerned about the character and the fortitude He’s building in you. God is able; more than able to supply every want and need that you have in the twinkling of the eye but He won’t do that, why? Because then you miss the journey, you miss the lessons and the process. God knows you have need of things (Matthew 6:8) He knows a new car, house, job would be nice. He knows you want a partner. He knows all of that but He knows beyond those wants that THINGS could never satisfy you. He knows that it’s STRONG (strong in character not gym rats lol) men that retain riches (Proverbs 11:16). I’m in no way saying just settle for where you are, absolutely not but make sure when you are making the move, you have God’s will driving you with His timing in mind. You are running your race according to purpose and aiming at finishing your course.
“…make sure when you are making the move, you have God’s will driving you with His timing in mind.”
Gods plans for you are still that of GOOD (Jeremiah 29:11) and every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1:17). Learn to tune out the world. You are not late or behind! Submit to the will of God and trust in His timing. Trust that He continues to work all things out for your good (Romans 8:28) and He makes all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Don’t let comparison steal your joy, don’t let it steal your peace, don’t let it fill your head with worry. Don’t let comparing make you see yourself less than you are and let your entire life be centered on how someone’s life is going. Don’t downplay and despise your journey because someone seems to be ahead. If you are going to be focused on a thing, be focused about how much of Christ’s likeness you are walking in, how much of Christ you’ve sown and are still sowing into the life of others, how much of His purpose for your life you’ve accomplished. If you are going to think on something, think on the things above (Colossians 3:2), think on the love of Christ and how He plans to do magnificent things with you. Think on the fact that God has you right where He wants you and has the power to translate you to where you ought to be.
Stay blessed! xoxo