Comparison

Being a people pleaser is certainly a part of my story. For most of my life, even into young adulthood, I was consumed with the desire for others to like me. No matter the root cause, this idea tainted the way that I made decisions and had a direct impact on my personality.As a recovering people-pleaser, I think I have a heightened awareness for potential situations that could trigger that tendency. Some of the minefields that cause me to tread lightly are my social media timelines. One of the biggest reasons for this is the potential for a formidable opponent in the fight to remain rooted in the True Source of my identity: COMPARISON.Comparison is one of those tricky things that can challenge and encourage us in certain instances but, more often than not, it has the potential to foster discontentment and grates against our joy.When viewing the lives (and the words) of those that we know or esteem highly, we can be challenged to pursue wisdom and to live a life of character and wholeness. We are pointed toward beautiful writings and profound quotes. We read beautiful stories of successful ministries and business ventures. We see beautiful photos of families, friendships and fun experiences. If we are not careful, before we realize it, we will find ourselves measuring our own lives and successes against those that we read about and see images of.I've been so heartbroken lately to see leaders of wonderful organizations miss the greatness of what's happening in their current context because they are so consumed with the fact that it doesn't look like what they aspire toward. There are so many that have grown tired of their current job because it doesn't produce the outcomes that they see in images posted by others they follow. It's sad to see families that are missing the warmth and beauty of their current season because they are wrought with jealousy of the situation of another family.I don't say all of this with a tone of self-righteousness. Quite the contrary. I am grieved because I know how I have allowed comparison and people-pleasing to rob me of my joy and distract me from the purpose that I was designed and intended for.In seasons of my life, comparison has bred competition. Not the type of competitive spirit that won't allow me to quit when the going gets tough and to aim for the best work always. It produced in me a longing to have what others have and to falsely assess why I deserve it more then "they" do.Maybe you're reading this and you're a woman that sees the Instagram photos of another wife and mom and wonders "how do they have it all together and make it look so easy?" Maybe you're a guy that looks at your Twitter feed and wonders "how do I say things that are so profound?" Maybe you're looking at your timeline and wondering "how is their organization growing so large so fast?" Don't let comparison steal your joy today. I know I need to continue to be reminded of this. Besides, the ideal that we are comparing ourselves to is probably not as "ideal" as it seems to be.Let's encourage one another!