"Comparison is the thief of JOY." ~Theodore Roosevelt
And yet, I do it. Every day.
Even though I know it gets me nowhere. NO. WHERE. Well, it gets me somewhere. Just not where I want to be.
And I don't just do it with material things. Like comparing my house with a bigger one. I compare my mothering with other mothers. My acts of service with others' acts of service. My child with another child. I compare my entire day with a snapshot I see of another mom's day on Instagram. It's never-ending.
And it robs me of my Joy. My daily successes. My favorite bits of the day. The tiny moments of life meant just for me. It comes silently and rips them from my grip until all I see are my failures. My not so great bits of the day. And a cloud settles over me. It takes my joy and leaves me riddled with guilt and self-pity and "if I'd only."
But. I have found that comparison sneaks in ONLY when I am seeking the approval of man rather than God. Galatians 1:10 says, "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." How can I serve Christ if I'm constantly comparing my life with someone else's?
If I continue to compare myself with others, I'll never measure up. Because there's no end to comparison. It goes on and on and on until it completely sucks the joy right out of life. Until there is nothing left, but envy and anxiety and dissatisfaction and resentment.
So I have a choice. I can choose to compare (which is basically like telling God, "hey! This life you gave me? Yeah, it's not good enough so....") and continue to feel empty with each comparison I make. Or I can choose to seek the approval of God and focus on what He wants for me.
I choose the latter and the happiness and contentment that comes with it. Is it gonna go perfectly? Nope. Probably not. But I'm sure gonna try.