I love November. It is the universal month of Thanksgiving. As a society we take the time to consciously recognize what we are thankful for. I find it amazing with our list growing throughout the month we can still be void of joy. Last Friday I talked about how we sabotage our own joy. In my opinion, Comparison is the greatest thief of our joy.
We know that we are fearfully and wonderfully made according to Gods plan but that isn’t enough for us. We continue to think the grass is greener on the other side. Who we are and what we have are no longer sufficient when we compare it to our neighbor.
Below is a list of the most common areas that I allow comparison to suck the joy right out of me:
My Husband: When I was newly married I would take note of how other husbands treated their wives. I secretly wished my husband would be this or that. In the middle of one of our many arguments as newlyweds I yelled, “Why can’t you be more like so and so (one of his friends)! He is always so loving towards his wife!” He was silent for a moment and then he proceeded to list the multitude of sins committed by his friend when he is not around her.
Remedy: I realize I start to compare my husband when I think he is falling short in some way. When I recognize that trigger I immediately remind myself he is made in Christ image just for me. He once told me he is the best man he knows how to be right now but is trying to be a better man each and every day. I hold onto these words.
Material Things: Me being a stay at home mom is a priority for both Mr. C and myself. However that also means we live on his income alone. Even though we are more than provided for there are times when I get a bad case of the wants. Instead of celebrating the fact my friends were able to get new furniture, a new car or went on a cool vacation, I develop envy. All of a sudden being proud we saved enough to get my daughter braces isn’t worth celebrating. I want stuff!
Remedy: I have realized my triggers come from watching too much television or flipping through one to many magazines. We live in a world that has brainwashed us to believe we deserve just about everything. In reality we don’t deserve anything, yet Christ still died for us. Shouldn’t that be enough? Geesh. To combat my wants I make a list of everything I am thankful for until the envy goes away.
Faith: This is embarrassing to write but I find myself comparing my faith to others. I find myself thinking, “Oh how I wish I had her prayer life” or “I will never have her knowledge of the Bible” or “She is always so calm and glows with the Holy Spirit.” It’s true. I want to be a good little Bible study girl but feel like a hypocrite anytime I flip my husband off or yell at my kids! Then I compare myself to the godly woman I know and wonder why I can’t be more like them.
Remedy: I stand firm in the truth that no one is without sin. We are all given different gifts according to the grace given to each of us (Romans 12:6). I celebrate my imperfect progress. Of course, I remind myself that nine years ago I didn’t even own a Bible!
Whatever your areas of comparison are it is important to recognize what they are, what triggers them and how to remedy it. I recommend you start by praying for wisdom, discernment and for continued joy.
Whenever I feel comparison start to seep in and my joy leak out, I just start given praise and thanks to the Lord. It is amazing how quickly my joy returns.
Satan loves when we do his work for him. I refuse to let him win. What area of comparison is sabotaging your joy?
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