Comparison

I’ve been thinking a lot about comparison lately, and even though it’s not a very romantic topic for Valentine’s Day, it’s pretty timely.

ImageThe Teddy Roosevelt quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy” has really resonated with me this year, and even though I know that it’s the truth, it’s so hard to identify in myself and fight.

Look at that person… she gets to spend every night and weekend with her husband.

Look at that person… she has three bedrooms, a yard, and a washer/dryer.

Look at all of my friends who are moving forward into “real” adult lives.

The comparison game was very alive back when I was single. Seeing people meet their spouses and get married years before I met Logan. Wondering if there was something wrong with me that I rarely dated. Wondering why certain girls were the apple of every guy’s eye or why certain girls got married so young.

I thought it would go away in marriage, but it just looks different now. Comparison is still wildly present in my spirit. I realized it after I found myself walking home envious of someone else’s tiny apartment that seemed just a tad bit nicer than our tiny apartment.

Social media is such a great way to share and keep in touch with people, but boy does it create the perfect climate for this dynamic.

Look at that person who just bought a house.

Look at that person who got to spend the holidays with their family. 

Look at that person who makes perfect meals every night.

Look at that person who just had a baby and is still 20 pounds skinnier than me. 

Amidst an insecure moment this morning, my husband was kind enough to point out that I probably have the same effect on people without intending to. That some of the things I post might just trigger similar feelings in people.

Why does she always post about her life in NYC and husband?

Why does she post so many obnoxious cat pictures?

Does she even have a job??? What does she do all day?

It’s interesting how simply by sharing seemingly innocent details of our lives, we can subconsciously stir up comparison in each other. As a friend told me, comparing in itself isn’t bad, because it can also push us toward evaluating ourselves, but it turns bad when envy and judgement follow on its heels.

I just wanted to be candid this morning and say, for every cute cat photo, there is another moment where she is destroying something in our home.

Although I may post sweet date nights on social media, there were four months that we barely saw each other.

Although I may post cool NYC moments, there are times where I traipse through the rain soaked or want to kick my laundry cart to the curb.

Although I love being clever and funny, I also have my moments where I feel super down and can’t seem to shake it.

Today, as we all compare flowers to no flowers, fancy dates to no dates, loneliness to companionship, let us stop for a second and examine our hearts. Is my irritation just envy because I lack what someone else has?? Am I stirring up feelings in other people by subconsciously being boastful and only posting the highlight reel of my life?

Lord, give me the grace today to be content and grateful for where You have me. Let me rejoice with people in their strengths, even if they lie in my weaknesses. Let me be mindful of what I share and how it can impact others. 

I’m so grateful today to be blessed with a loving and amazing husband. And I’m so grateful for God’s love displayed through Jesus. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Philippians 4:11-13

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

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9 Responses to Comparison

  1. Julie says:

    Well said!

  2. Nancy P. says:

    Well said! Love you so much!
    -Aunt Nancy

  3. Brooke Comer says:

    I reserve my blog comments for those posts that leave me with something to think about or give me a new, unique perspective….this post accomplishes both of those! Well said 🙂

    PS-peace, love, terriyaki sauce

  4. Julie says:

    What a great post, Emily! Reminded that the things that we girls compare ourselves to others with oftentimes reflect where we are putting our hope and identity. Thanks for reminding us that our beauty, our strength, our worth, and value are in Christ.

  5. Karen says:

    Wonderful post, Emily. And how right was Teddy Roosevelt? When I was a younger, I would allow myself to become green with envy of those who were able to see their husband every day or even talk to them on the phone…those were luxuries we didn’t have our first couple of years of marriage. I finally reached a point where I realized that it just wasn’t healthy anymore. Similar passages also helped me during some not-so-great times. Contentment is a lifelong struggle for me – like many, I have my good days and my bad days. Happy Valentines Day, Emily! 🙂

  6. Theresa Jean says:

    That was a great post! Thank you. I agree whole-heartedly with Julie: Thanks for reminding us that our beauty, our strength, our worth, and value are in Christ

  7. Mary Thacker says:

    Beautiful Emily! Perfect thoughts for Valentine’s Day to examine our hearts!

  8. Christine says:

    Beautifully written and very thoughtfully encouraging!!

  9. Tori says:

    Your transparency in this post is gorgeous. Thank you for the godly example you shared with me in reading this today! Love you, friend. 🙂

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