Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Comparing Ourselves to Others…and what it does to us

Have you ever seen a picture on Facebook, or another social media site, and before you knew it, you were comparing your life to that one posted moment?

A few months ago, I realized three things…

One, I was doing it. I was comparing my life to what I thought I saw in photos – better vacations, happy families, things that looked more fun than what I was doing.  

Two, I didn’t like that I was doing it. I didn’t like that I was comparing my life to one moment someone else posted to share with others. And I didn’t like that it led to jealously and discontentment.

Three, it had to stop. Comparing my life to someone’s posted moment leads to false assumptions. It leads to looking at what God has blessed me with and thinking it’s not enough. It leads to feeling like less.

And, It. Had. To. Stop.

I don’t want to let seeing someone’s picture ruin my day. And, I don’t want someone to look at a photo I post and let it ruin their day!

Think about this for a minute. We usually share our best pictures with others, but how often do they really tell the whole story?

Behind the perfect family photo may be an hour of arguing and trying to get everyone to smile at the same time.

Behind the beautiful vacation snapshot may be the week of pouring down rain or the less than pleasant hotel experience.

Behind the lovely faces in the Christmas pictures may be the pain of the past year and uncertainty that the next year will be any better.

My friends, I am not suggesting we start sharing the worst parts of our lives. But, I am encouraging you, and myself to…

Stop comparing our lives to what we see and think is someone else’s life.

The comparisons are killing us. And the enemy loves it! We do his work for him when we compare ourselves to others and let it bring us down.

We compare looks, careers, how our kids behave, our pasts, our futures, level of education, and so much more.

And it must stop.

After my personal realization, I spent a lot of time thinking about how we compare ourselves to others, and what it does to us. I took a chance and asked a few online, and in real life, friends what they thought of a blog series about this issue. The response was overwhelming—yes, do it!

So, I’m excited (and nervous) to introduce you to a new series…


I’ve asked fellow writers to join me in this series, and every Monday, beginning January 6, I’ll be hosting a guest post on the issue of comparing ourselves to others. (This will not be a how-to series, but rather personal experiences and what God has called us to write about.)

Please visit here each Monday, and also stop by my guests’ personal blogs. I also encourage you to leave a comment whenever you feel led to do so.

*****

You might be wondering what I did about comparing my life to someone’s posted moment on Facebook…first, I stayed off of Facebook for a while. Sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back from the online world we live in.

Second, realizing that one posted moment does not tell the whole story helped me a lot. And admitting the problem is the first step to changing behavior. Right?

See you Monday!

In Christ,
Laura   

9 comments:

  1. Excited! Looking forward to this journey.

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  2. You are doing a beautiful thing here, friend. I am praying, right now, that God will use this space and your blog to encourage women to stop comparing, and to see themselves through God's eyes alone. Much love to you, Laura.

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  3. Brave. You are brave and one called to lead the way…love this.

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  4. I stopped by from the Faith Filled Friday linkup. I agree - putting a stop to the comparisons is vital for fully enjoying the unique life God has designed for each of us, and for genuinely loving others as well! I'm sure the series will be great!

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  5. Laura,

    Nice to meet you. I'm hopping over from the IP link up. Thanks for tackling this issue. I know a friend who took time off fb for part of that reason. She said it led her to coveting and complaining.

    I agree that the moments captured in momentary snapshots of word clips so rarely show the whole picture.

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan
    www.jenniferdougan.com

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  6. Praying with you that this series would help us see each other and ourselves as God sees us in all our wonder and with all our warts.

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  7. This is a much-needed series, and I'm so happy you're following God's calling to share it! I wrote a post about window-shopping other's lives, and it really seemed to resonate with people. Will be praying that God blesses this endeavor and all involved in creating and reading it!
    SO glad you joined our little community for Recommendation Saturday!
    Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

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  8. Laura, I so relate with that having to step away from the computer, and reset my mind. I know God will do great things through the brave, grace-filled beautiful words to be shared here, including these right now! Hugs!

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  9. I'm sorry I didn't catch this earlier. What a significant topic. I will enjoy perusing this for sure. I'm visiting from Faith and Friends. I already hit your current post from a different link up, so thought I'd read something else. So glad I did!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!