The Thief of Joy

Comparison. A skinny, pretty girl on instagram or in the magazines. The ability to make the hairs on their arms rise when they hear his/her voice sing beautifully. The guy that seems to be great at every sport and is liked by every girl. The people who are constantly travelling and take amazing photo’s to prove it. The one’s we think are truly living life to the fullest – while we feel we are stuck. Stuck in a job, in a relationship, in trying to be like everyone else and to… feel normal. We’ve all done it and continue to do it. We compare and we believe that we are not as good, not as talented or not as adventurous.

Proverbs 14:30 says; “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.” Tranquil means peaceful, calming and undisturbed. While envy means jealousy, bitterness and discontent. A tranquil – or sound heart – spreads it’s kindness and unselfish influence throughout the entire body. Envy is described as a raging fever with no rest. When we feel sick, we feel powerless and physically incapable, throughout the entire body. What we have to understand is that it is no different when we are comparing ourselves to those arounds us. We feel exhausted and powerless!

Recently, I’ve really been struggling more with comparing myself to people in the world around me. At work and in my friend groups, a vicious cycle spins around in my mind. Doubting my abilities at first, then feeling satisfied if a certain person “likes” my photo or I have a good day at work, where I have made people laugh and leave feeling accomplished. But then that self-doubt starts to win again the next time I feel awkward or my jokes weren’t as funny as they were the day before. The doubt keeps rolling in and tells me I should just “stay quiet” for today – to start acting “normal” so I can get that satisfying feeling back. So they can like me again – who I am, how I act and what I say. This “normal” person I strive to be. I find it very sad that my mind works this way and that I compare myself to those who interact with others so easily and fluently.

Yes it SUCKS, but do you want the real truth? Comparisons will never go away. I’m pretty sure that in every single aspect of our life, there will be something or someone to compare to. Unfortunately, we cannot control that, but we can control our drive for success, passions in our everyday life and joy through all circumstances (and in this case, comparisons). Although sometimes we feel that comparing completely robs us of our joy, it doesn’t have to. It’s just a distraction. No job, no amount of money you make, people that like you, the clothes that you own, the trips you go on, etc. will make you stop comparing yourself to others. Instead of being envious of that person, uplift them. Not only does this lift their own spirits, those who are too comparing themselves to others, but lifts yourself up and begins to generate a tranquil heart the Bible tells us gives life to this very flesh we are comparing ourselves to.

The virus is always going to be out there, but you just have to inject the needle of gratitude and take care of yourself. The steps to make a healthier, happier and greater you. That may involve asking God to help you see the better in yourself, to help encourage you towards an undisturbed and peaceful heart.

Don’t let this thief run with your joy, okay? It’s worth a whole dang lot.

Lizzie

 

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