Mind if we get real here for a minute or two? I’m just wondering— is comparison threatening to squish us as cheerleaders? We all know that “comparison is the thief of joy”, and that’s a quote by Theodore Roosevelt, who wasn’t even into Instagram or Pinterest. But I worry that instead of celebrating the success and blessings of others, we are in danger of losing all the joy in the name of Comparison, or his BFF, Jealousy…
“Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.” Romans 12:14-16 (The Message)
I love receiving good news, whether it’s directly affecting me or someone in my family or friend group. Even those I kind of know via the interwebs… it’s great to hear when someone is reaching their goal, finding their heart’s desire, passing that exam, or living their dream. A baby or a book deal, a husband or a house, a ministry or a master’s degree, my initial reaction is, “Awww!” 🙂 Until sometimes, I raise one eyebrow.
Okay, maybe not with the baby (been there, done that— a LONG time ago!) and definitely not with the husband (because I’m incredibly partial to the one I have), but sometimes the comparison creature raises its ugly head and asks, “Fine, but how come they get that now? I’ve been trying for years.” Or, “Good for her. But she’s totally going to be out of her depth.” Or, “Yay. But it won’t bring her happiness. It would probably have brought me happiness though.”
And then if we’re really getting gnarly, it transforms into, “Why isn’t it my turn? I deserve it just as much as her. Actually probably more. Definitely more. I may not ever speak to her again.” Hello, green-eyed monster. Are we really that threatened by the success of others? Aren’t we supposed to actually: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”?
We can’t blame social media for all the things, but it certainly doesn’t do us any favors when it comes to comparison issues. We see everyone’s highlight reel, all the best moments on the best hair days. We see their number of followers and likes and we can’t help but see how we measure up. It’s desperately unhealthy. Truth is, there’s only ONE we all need to be looking to:
“We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it!” Ephesians 2:10 (The Passion)
His poetry. I love that. He has a plan for each us, friends, and we (I) must NOT attempt to limit God. I tend to put Him in a Laura-styled box and expect everything to pan out how I believe would be best for me and the entire world. Surprisingly, it very rarely happens and I end up impatient and comparing myself to others and missing out on a whole lot of celebrating and joy! Sheesh.
We know that we are all uniquely created, each of us with our set of gifts and talents and the ability to make a difference in this world of ours. We also have very different paths and timeframes and capacities. But there is room for us all— room for all our babies and books and husbands and houses and ministeries and master’s degrees. So let’s go out of our way to be cheerleaders for our sisters who are killing it out there and succeeding in crazy ways!
“All tides rise when we see a sister making this world a better place with her gifts.” Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited
Our journey, the adventure God has called us to as individuals— we can share that with each other. By the written word in a blog or book, verbally one-on-one over a cup of coffee, from a platform in front of a gathering, a letter sent, a phone call, a gift, a meal, a hand to hold. We can lift each other up and be the very best cheerleaders. Because honestly, sometimes there’s a whole lot of waiting involved and for some, we may not even get to see much in the way of “fruit” this side of heaven. Having an “eternal perspective” helps us remember nothing is wasted:
“With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 (The Message)
Join me in celebrating each other? I’m raising my hot pink cheerleading pom-poms for YOU, friends!
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