I'm sure you've heard it before - "comparison is the thief of joy."
I've come across that phrase more times than I can count, but lately, I've been wondering if I actually believe it. Do I take the consequences of comparison that seriously?
To be honest, I don't think I do. It's way too often that I get caught up on someone else's accomplishments, relationships, or even their shoes - and then I wonder why I can't find joy in what God has blessed me with. I've recently come to understand how comparison and discontentment go hand in hand. And, let me tell you from experience: they make the most dangerous duo. Together, they not only steal our joy, but they also rob us of our confidence and make space for jealousy.
I hate comparison, really, but it continues to be my default setting. It's leaving me disappointed and exhausted at the end of each day, and so a few weeks ago, I decided to declare it done with.
At the end of a particularly comparison-filled season, I hopped on a plane headed home for spring break. When the plane began to make its descent, I turned on some worship music and looked out over the vast Colorado landscape. As my eyes scanned the horizon, the song "Heaven's Perspective" by GT Worship came on shuffle. It was exactly what my comparison filled heart needed to hear:
I see desert, you see rain I see valleys, you see mountaintops...It's Heaven's perspective...
Even though I've heard the song one hundred times before, it hit me a little differently on that plane ride. As I listened to the words, I realized just how incomplete my human perspective is. I look at what I have - whether I'm thinking about my body, my grades, my friendships - and I declare it "not enough." But what if, from a different angle, God sees how He's working all things together for His glory? The deserts are flooded and the lowest valleys are the highest mountaintops. I place my identity in what I have, but God know what I truly need. He promises to provide in His timing, so why do I compare and complain when I could be creating?
When I make the effort to see things from Heaven's perspective, comparison and discontentment and jealousy feel pointless.
We weren't made for a life of constantly feeling like we're not enough. Ephesians 2:10 tells us we were created to do "good works" which "God prepared in advance for us to do." And we can't excel in those good, life changing deeds if we're so concerned with what everyone else is doing. It's a fact - looking to the right and to the left just slows us down.
Instead of obsessing over what everyone else has, what if you made a declaration right here, right now, that you are just going to focus on your own, wild, precious, uniquely crafted life?
I don't want to remember my time on this earth in terms of comparison and discontentment. I want a life of fullness, of peace and joy and laughter and feeling comfortable with who I am and where I'm at.
And I believe that this life is available to each and every one of us. We just need Heaven's perspective.