In your eyes, she has it all together:
A good marriage.
You admire her, but secretly there is a tinge of jealousy… you want her life.
But your missing something. You only see a portion of her story, the part she wants you to see, but it’s not just her…you and I do this too.
Rarely do I share on social media or invite others over on days my house is messy, I look a hot mess, my kids are misbehaving and dinner is a flop.
And these things happen… often.
Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.- 2 Corinthians 10:12 (ESV)
In this information age, we have more access to people’s lives than ever before.
Social media has its positives, but it also has its downfalls. We are able to highlight the best parts of our lives. And that’s kind of deceiving.
Sure we all desire to display our best self. But we have to remember no one lives a perfect life. Everyone has a bad day, week or season.
When we glance at someone’s life on social media, we have to be careful to view them with the right heart and motives.
We can overcome the comparison trap by practicing the following:
We must learn contentment.
We can start by being thankful for what you have, and do the best with what we have. Contentment teaches us to stay in your own lane, this prevents envy, bitterness, and greed from rearing its ugly head.
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”- Hebrews 13:15 (NASB)
Mind your own business.
When we are busy at work doing what we are supposed to do, it’s difficult to focus on others. Diligence gives us a sense accomplishment and responsibility that allows us to appreciate what we have. I believe working hard keeps us busy from coveting others.
and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and [not be in any need. -1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (ESV)
But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. Galatians 6:4-5 (ESV)
On the contrary, when we are slothful…ok, lazy, we have too much time on our hands which tempts us to become concerned about others people’s affairs.
Timothy gives this warning and instruction for young widows in 1 Timothy 5:13-14:
At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach.
When we are purposely diligent we give no room for the enemy to distract or interfere in our lives!
Take a break from social media.
Taking a hiatus from social media can bring you back to your own reality. It gives us the opportunity to become present in the lives of family and friends.
I removed the Facebook app from my phone and I found a great desktop app that keeps my Facebook activity under control. News Feed Eradicator removes your timeline feed and displays helpful quotes instead. You can click on a friend or group to get their latest status update.
Renew your mind.
Studying and meditating on the Word of God provides us with wisdom and the proper perspective regarding our life and the lives of others. By focusing on the Lord, we are able to find joy in the life we live.
Peter must have thought, “Who am I compared to Mr. Faithfulness (John)?” But Jesus clarified the issue. John was responsible for John. Peter was responsible for Peter. And each had only one command to heed: “Follow Me.” (John 21:20-22)- Charles R. Swindoll
Let’s not get distracted by someone else’s life. God made you fearfully and wonderfully with unique gifts and talents. He loves you and created you with a purpose.
for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
– Phillipians 2:13(ESV)
Let’s find gratitude in our current lives and genuinely celebrate the successes of others.