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Locking Out the Thief of Joy

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

– 1 Timothy 6:6

As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” yet I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s hard to resist the temptation of comparing myself to other people. As someone who is relational and empathic, I tend to idealize the ones I interact with and assume that they have better connections with their spouses, children, or friends than I do. During my growing up years, I felt uncomfortable because my parents were divorced. Though they always did their best to provide stability, I remember how agonizing it was to see families that looked perfect and intact. The truth, however, is that not one of those units was as ideal as I perceived and that those comparative thoughts caused me harm and pain. Because I was constantly contrasting my reality with the fantasy I projected onto other people’s families, I existed in a place of ongoing discontentment. 

Friend, if you’re feeling alone and isolated in the world, I encourage you to do whatever it takes to stop comparing yourself to others. Even if it requires a fast from social media, make a habit of reminding yourself that nobody’s life is perfect, and draw on those thoughts whenever you are tempted to covet the existence of another. More importantly, open your heart to Jesus in your times of deepest loneliness. Bring Him your feelings of isolation and allow Him to comfort you in solitude. Embrace His still tender voice, and His boundless and unconditional love will penetrate your heart and mind as He whispers to your spirit that you are more than enough.

Prayer


Jesus, I ask for your help in locking the thief of joy out of my life.

Reflection


Who do you compare yourself to? How does it negatively affect you?

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