The comparison trap. And that’s exactly what it is. A trap.
It’s easy to fall into without realizing what’s happening and then before you know it, it becomes to tough to get free from. There’s nothing ever good in a trap, but a unsatisfying taste of what wasn’t worth the price you paid to get it. The same goes with comparison.
Comparison has become such a buzz word amongst social media pages, blogs and messages. And for good reason. With the onslaught of the digital age and all things posts and tweets, we are facing the enemy of comparison far more than we did in the days before Myspace. Yep. I had a Myspace. If you don’t know what that is, just know it’s because I’m in my early thirties and we haven’t always had Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Even though, I still haven’t caught on to Twitter very well. I’m an artsy girl, so I like all the pics on IG. And Snapchat? Yep. Way behind on that one.
Anyway, we used to have to actually go to school before we knew what new trend was going to be popular or who was dating who. Nowadays it’s in our faces all.the.time. And partly, our fault. Because we’re on our social media all.the.time. Do you feel trapped even by social media sometimes? If that’s you, definitely keep reading.
I get it. We get bored. We’re uninterested with what’s going on in the room. We want our lives to be validated or just to know that we’re not invisible. But with all that creeps in this thing called “Discontentment” that hides behind a more popular brand name of “Comparison.” And even especially for us single girls when we see those engagement posts and wedding photos! I.so.get.it.
Even though we know that most of the feeds we watch are the glamorized version, much like our magazines and movies, it’s still easy to long for what someone else seems to have.
With that, here’s some advice from a girl who has had to fight that same battle.
- Comparison is a fight against yourself.
And who can win that one? Jesus said that “a house divided cannot stand (Mark ). And if you are confident in one moment, that perfect selfie moment, but then bashing yourself the next you are simply warring against yourself.
Sometimes the meanest “Mean Girl” is really in our own head. So let’s change that script and here’s an awesome pattern to follow from Philippians 4:8, NLT:
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
So if it isn’t true, pure and lovely… you have an opportunity to take those thoughts captive and reprogram them with the mind of Christ. Because He absolutely sees you as true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and worthy of His daddy-praise!
- If I am happy with what I have then I have no need to want what you do.
And it’s perfectly okay to be happy with your looks, your life, your season, even if it isn’t all that you’ve dreamed of. Here’s why:
“Godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6) In Him I can be satisfied in every area of my life, even while waiting for His promises to be fulfilled.
- Her being pretty doesn’t mean that I am not
I remember just such a conversation I had recently when I was trying to explain who a girl was by her appearance. I had nothing else to go off and immediately felt the atmosphere shift. “Pretty blonde girl with long hair” seemed to make all the non-blonde girls, who maybe don’t feel pretty, feel insecure. I could see it on their faces. Then those who are more secure in who they are didn’t flinch at my description and instead were still just trying to figure out who I was talking about.
There’s two sides. Content and Discontent. If you are discontent with who you are and the way you look, or what you have or who you’re dating, then comparison will eat away at you and continually allow you to degrade you.
However, if you are content in your identity in Christ, comparison won’t take a grip on your heart and you won’t feel belittled at someone else’s success, strengths or beauty. What a better way to live!
With that, if your identity is rooted on anything other that what Jesus Christ thinks of you, knowing every detail of your life (even your acne, your cellulite and your mistakes) and still radically loves you, then you’re sure to get trapped. I love the way Todd White puts it when referring to the Cross. He says that the Cross reveals our value because of the price that He paid to get you. To know you. To love you. And be loved by you in return.
- Girl, you’re just going to have to guard your heart
And “guard” is a verb. It’s an action term. It’s proactive and ready. If you feel trapped by social media, give it up for a while. If you feel trapped by comparison to some of the feeds you follow, unfollow them.
As believers, we each have the Holy Spirit that guides us into all truth. He’s personal and speaks to each of us individually. So for someone who doesn’t struggle like this, I’m sure He’s speaking to them about something else. But for those who feel trapped, He’s probably nudging at you to make a change. Not to rebuke you or make you feel bad, but to help you overcome and be reminded about who you are in Him!
Our social media lives won’t too soon fade away, I’m sure. So how we steward this part of our lives is just as important as how we conduct ourselves in any other situation. It matters. And even more so, because this trap is normally a quiet and private one.
You are so much more special than you could ever imagine. And your flaws, could never diminish His love for you by even an ounce. Recognize it’s a trap and a war against yourself, find contentment in knowing God, root yourself in His identity for you and guard your heart. Then comparison won’t knock on the door of your heart and your life will be filled with so much more joy and pleasure. I promise!
-This post was written by Shelley Black, the author of Savoring Single.-
Shelley Black has journeyed through being single longer than she expected and has since found joy, hope and purpose from a once begrudged season. She now challenges the status quo of what it means to be single as a modern-day Christian female, with a passion to infuse hope and restore joy to every single-girl heart. Shelley is a loving momma to her pup Lucy, is one proud “T” to six nieces and nephews and serves her local church in North Mississippi as the worship leader. Find her at SavoringSingle.com and across social media at SavoringSingle.
This post was apart of the Savoring Single Blog Tour organised by Livy.