"They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, "Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed." But I prayed, "Now strengthen my hands." -Nehemiah 6:9 (NIV)
I found myself in the middle of spiritual brawl earlier this year. My opponent? That sneaky, cunning, and sometimes all consuming thing called comparison. It came to tell me that I wasn’t good enough, that the world didn’t really need another blog, Instagram feed, or ministry like mine. It whispered in my ear that I wasn’t qualified, that so and so has a bigger platform, that I was older than this person or younger than that one. It yelled in my ear to quit, to give up, to not even bother, and for a second I thought about succumbing to its chatter.
That’s the thing about comparison. It really is a tactic of the enemy to get you to measure your portion, your life, your relationship (or lack thereof), your looks, your relationship with God, your ministry, your giftings and so much more against another person’s. And it’s not so much so that you can feel bad about yourself (although that’s usually what happens). But, the main objective is to get you distracted, and if he distracts you long enough then you may just want to quit altogether. Quit walking by faith, quit walking in your purpose, quit writing that book, quit believing God for a husband, quit developing that business, and even the unthinkable...quit life altogether. This is a road that we don’t want to travel down ladies, yet it’s an area where I believe so many women are struggling. So I want to share with you some of the things that helped me to get out of my funk and conquer this comparison enemy.
Guard your heart
Gone are the days where we had to walk to the pencil sharpener in class knowing our pencil didn’t really need to be sharpened just to get people to notice our outfit. (Don’t act like ya’ll don’t know what I’m talking about lol). Nowadays, if you want people to take notice of something you have on, somewhere you’re going, someone you’re dating, or something you’re eating, all you have to do is upload it to one of the many different social media platforms available worldwide. You can snap it, tweet it, Instagram it and so much more. We are literally inundated with hundreds of images on a daily basis all vying for our attention. If it’s not someone on your personal newsfeed, then it’s someone on the popular page which leads you to another page and so on and so forth. Then after you’ve clicked on about 10 different usernames you find yourself wondering how in the world you even got to the page that you’re currently on. But it’s already too late because you’ve already started comparing your hair, your skin, your weight, your social life, your finances and everything else to some random people who are only showing you highlights of their life which may or may not even be real or an accurate representations of the actual lives that they lead. When we really think about it, it’s all so very silly and it’s all just a big distraction. Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (NIV). For this reason, it is important that we protect what we’re looking at, listening to and meditating on. For me, that meant unfollowing certain people on social media for a period of time that would invoke any type of jealousy or comparing. I had to be honest with myself, and do what I thought was best for my personal and spiritual growth even if seemed pretty harmless. For some people that will mean going on an entire social media hiatus. For others, guarding your heart may mean not watching certain television shows or listening to certain songs that may evoke the wrong emotions and thoughts. You know you. It’s just up to you to be honest with yourself and mature enough to make the tough decisions in order to get where you want to be.
Get a revelation of what God has for you
Many times, if we are coveting what another person has, or if we find ourselves comparing our life or certain areas of our lives to another person, it is because we have not truly received a revelation of what God has for us in that area. For example, if you find yourself feeling bad because someone else has a man and is about to be married, then that just goes to show that you don’t really believe that God has someone for you. If you could actually fathom that God has a great man of God for you who will cherish you, honor you, be faithful to you, love you with all of his heart and fulfill your deepest desires then there is no way that you could even begin to be envious of someone else. You wouldn’t even have time to because you would be so caught up basking in the fact that God has someone for you like that. You would be busy preparing and living your life in such a way that you are ready for whenever it manifests. Listen, when I got this revelation during my funk it freed me so much. I had to think about it like wait a minute, I know for a fact that God has called me to do certain things in life, and that these things were not my idea at all because if it were up to me I would be doing something completely different. I know that I have a purpose and God has a plan, and when I got consumed in those thoughts, I didn’t even have time to compare myself with someone else; it wasn’t even a thought. This thing was now between me and God. There is something so freeing that occurs when we stay in our own lane. The thought of someone else no longer intimidates us or invokes jealousy in us because we realize that God has something unique and special for each of us. We have to begin redefining what success really is. Of course, society would tell you that having a certain kind of career, making a certain amount of money, getting married by a certain age to a certain type of guy, buying a home and all these other stipulations equals success, but I would beg to differ. To me, success is measured based on whatever God has told you to do and whether or not you are walking in that. As long as you are on track according to God’s plans then anyone else’s opinion holds zero weight. That is how I measure whether or not I am successful, and that’s how we all should.
Find your contentment
Contentment is like a rare jewel, it is often hard to find, yet extremely valuable. If you can find your place of contentment and live in it, I promise life will be so much easier for you. I remember the day I realized I had found my contentment in being single. It was during the Thanksgiving I just blogged about, and I remember telling God, I honestly don’t care if it takes forever for me to get married. When I blurted those words out, I felt a release. I understood that I was finally for real for real happy and not for any particular reason. I was just really really content with my portion. I realized that even though there were things that I still wanted such as a husband, a better job at the time and so forth, I also recognized the goodness that God had been manifesting in my life. I was alive, I was not going hungry, I was loved and it may not have been the most glamorous life, but it was my portion and I was proud to call it mine. And more than anything Jesus brought me a joy that nothing in life could ever compare to, not even a husband so as long as I had that, I was good. We should all strive to get to a place of contentment in our life because without it, we will always be looking for more, and we will never be quite satisfied no matter how many blessings we receive.
Initially I wanted to title this blog “How to Conquer Comparison once and for all”. But then I realized that for some people it may be a once and for all type of situation, but for others, it may take consistency, diligence, and work to keep you out of the grips of comparison. You have to constantly guard your heart, you have to constantly fight for your contentment, you have to regularly remind yourself of what God has planned for you. Some things God eradicates from us instantly and completely. Other things we receive His grace for because we know it is sufficient. Either way, Jesus has already given us the victory over comparison and anything else in our life that would come to try to steal kill or destroy us (John 10:10). All we have to do is walk in it.
Still Hidden in Him,