No doubt about it! God is good— good to good people, good to the good-hearted. But I nearly missed it, missed seeing His goodness. I was looking the other way, looking up to the people at the top, envying the wicked who have it made, who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world.
Psalm 73:1-5 (MSG)
This way of putting the first five verses of Psalm 73 stopped me in my tracks this morning. Can you imagine missing God? Can you imagine missing out on seeing and experiencing His goodness in your own life because your eyes were focused on what someone else has? I will go first here and say that I am sure this has happened more times than I can count in my own little life. While I’m busy comparing and contrasting what they have that I don’t, I miss the chance to marvel at the good gifts He’s given me.
While I’m internally rolling my eyes at another person’s success (while externally applauding them, so I don’t seem “jealous-much”), I miss the opportunity to celebrate the gift He is. While I’m endlessly scrolling through, wishing I had their gifts, their houses, their opportunities, their influence — I’m missing out on seeing the way God’s uniquely positioned me to move for His Kingdom. I don’t want to miss God. I don’t want to overlook His goodness like some spoiled brat who always wants more. I want to want more — but I want more of Him. I want to live life wide-eyed and expectantly on the lookout for His goodness in big and small ways.
Something that’s key to our well-being is becoming mindful of what drains us. We may not be consciously aware that we are carving at ourselves with comparison while, for example, scrolling through Instagram, but our feelings are the clue. If we feel worse than we did before, we’ve engaged in comparison.
Whether consciously or not, estimating ourselves against others, especially against their highlights, causes our self-esteem to take a hit. It’s a form of self-attack. When I did it for just a short while earlier today, I felt anxious, overwhelmed, defeated and small. It was noticing these feelings that stopped me in my tracks and forced me to focus on being kind to myself. The worst thing I could have done was to continue with the comparison spiral and convince myself that I’m not ’good enough’ or that I’m a ’failure’, both of which aren’t true but comparison says otherwise.
Hating on ourselves is exhausting. Compassion and patience helps us remember who we’ve forgotten we are and to discover who we can become. The enemy attacks from all angles, planting deep seeds of destruction in our minds that we aren’t good enough, or that we are not where we should be, or that we are failures, so, we continually look to worldly things to satisfy us. Spoiler Alert – they-never-will. No wonder anxiety is higher than it’s ever been. We are running to the things of this world instead of our Creator.
Not only does comparison steal your joy, but it also steals the glory of your hard work, consistency, gratitude, stillness, and leniency. It robs you of everything you’ve earned, every goal you’ve accomplished, every time you have looked at yourself and thought, “I’m thrilled with who I am and how I look or feel right now.” When you’re holding yourself under a microscope, you will always find your most intricate and vulnerable flaws. But when you’re looking through the big scope, you can appreciate and see so much more of yourself if you choose to view through the right lens. Your past self is the only comparison that can nourish you. Why? Because every tiny shudder of progress is still progress and that matters. I think every increment of growth should be celebrated and honored. What say you?
Shirt_ Calvin Klein
Bow Tie was made by me @bowtie_joe7
Pants_ Brooks Brothers
Shoes were handmade