Comparison and gratitude cannot coexist.
Last October, I attended a class reunion and saw some childhood friends I I had not seen for over 30 years. Mingling has never been easy for me, but I did mingle (at least some!) because I wanted to know how people were doing.
As I looked around me and saw faces from high school, I began the habit of thought I had had way back then – comparing. As a teenager, I had felt inferior in just about every way, though in fact me and my family were not. Painful shyness had accentuated that feeling.
As I stood among my former classmates, I began thinking. What would they think of my 325 square foot apartment, my thrift store decor, and my meager annual income? Never mind that I was blessed to have retired early so I could relocate near my daughter and her family. Never mind that my current economic status was my choice, that I had resigned from a well-paying job on purpose. Never mind that I had overcome the habit of comparing ages ago and was even blogging a book about it. That old habit just reached up and grabbed me!
Trusting God stops comparisons
Then, thanks be to God for a truly changed heart, common sense surfaced. The gratitude and joy of this life God has led me to bubbled up from within as I recalled that true riches are intangible.
True riches are available, even in poverty.
True riches are the peace God gives when you are living in right relationship with Him. True riches are the fulfillment of loving and serving those in your life and beyond, for His purposes. True riches are the unseen things, which God says are eternal. Love is among those things that will never die, and God sends that daily from His own tender heart, and from family, friends and often strangers to whom I reach out.
We CAN develop gratitude
Researching for this blog helps prevent most comparisons. I find a lot of good ideas. Author and blogger Kay Wills Wyma wrote an excellent book on this topic – “I’m Happy for You (Sorta. . . Not Really: Finding Contentment in a Culture of Comparison)” . The title says it all, right? You can purchase this life-changing book and others by Kay at http://amzn.to/1YPC7GY. You can also follow Kay’s insightful, and hilarious, blog posts about parenting FIVE kids at http://www.themoatblog.com/
Reach out for contentment – and you will find it!
Would you reach out to grasp a venomous snake, the blade of a butcher knife or a grenade? Comparisons will not do as much physical damage, but they will:
- poison your perception of the good in your life,
- pierce your heart and leave a wound that must be healed, and
- worst of all – destroy your happiness as well as the happiness of those dearest to you.
Dear Father in heaven,
In this “culture of comparison”, please empower me to grow closer to You and to set my heart on unseen, eternal things. Show me how to be a good and godly influence to those You place in my path. Thank You for your countless blessings, Lord! Help me see them and remember to thank You, for I know all good things come from You. I love You Jesus!