It’s 6 a.m. and the alarm goes off. I thank God for one of my oldest friends – the beautiful, and ever faithful, snooze button. I grab my phone 5 minutes later, and the first thing my finger automatically does is open Instagram. I start scrolling down, start swiping right, and I see posts and stories of lots of people I know, and tons of others that I don’t.
I see beautiful girls with a body I only wish I’d have, I see #CoupleGoals, the perfect marriages, and incredibly well-behaved kids. I see people with fulfilling jobs, and others who are so happy staying at home, or traveling around the world. I see girls baking delicious recipes, while I’m having cereal for breakfast. I see the influencer with the shoes “I need”, the perfect house and decor, and then, I find out that other people are doing my bucket list, they’re going on MY dream vacation!
Ugh! What is this feeling inside of me?
The day goes by so fast. I go to bed at night, and scroll again through my feed, only to feel like I didn’t measure up. I’m still missing that perfect body, I burned my husband’s dinner trying to cook that ‘simple, healthy and fast’ recipe someone posted. I didn’t complete my tasks, and my kid was really crazy today… What is this feeling?
Have you ever felt something like that? Maybe you don’t even need social media to enter this game. Maybe you’ve felt this way while talking to a friend who’s in a relationship and you’re still single. Maybe you’ve felt it when your co-worker got a promotion, or when your cousin got pregnant, or when he graduated before you – you name it!
I’m sure you’ve heard “The grass is always greener on the other side.” Maybe we’ve even said it ourselves once or twice. But the thing is, we are entering this game every day, without even noticing, because the comparison game is something real – and it’s a very dangerous game to play.
The Apostle Paul- a man who used to persecute and kill Christians, but ended up meeting Jesus, giving his life for Him, sharing the good news of Salvation and writing most of the New Testament in the Bible- knew what we’re feeling. And this is his advice on the matter:
“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” Galatians 6:4-5 MSG
Paul is reminding us of the importance of discovering who we are, of knowing who God made us to be. He made us unique, He gave us special gifts, talents, and skills to fulfill a specific plan that He has dreamed for us all along. Do you know who you are? Have you thought of the work He has given you to do?
When we compare ourselves to others, we forget who we are, and we stop noticing and being grateful for what we DO have. We forget that we were made on purpose and for a purpose, and that might look different for each of us. Paul is reminding us that each of us also has a responsibility. With those gifts, talents and skills that God wired us with, we were also given a responsibility to USE those things for others.
What would your life look like if you would start celebrating instead of comparing?
Celebration breaks the power of envy. Celebration brings joy. Celebration makes us grateful.
You can choose celebration over comparison by doing these two things:
– Celebrate who you are and what you already have.
Look around you not to see what you’re missing, but to see that which you’ve been given and entrusted. Make a list of everything you’ve been given (Yes, that includes your body type, your personality and gifts, your talents, your family, your job…) and celebrate that! If you don’t know your gifts and personality yet, take a test, talk with someone who can help you know yourself better, and then make a celebration of who God made you to be by using those gifts for the good of others!
– Celebrate others.
Celebrate others out loud and publicly (not just in your mind.) Choose one person each week that you can celebrate and be creative in the way you do so.
God created you on purpose and for a purpose, and He likes you. He REALLY likes you. And this is something worth celebrating!