Monday, March 17, 2014

The Cancer I Walked Away From by Melanie Moore {Comparison Series}


It's a pleasure to have Melanie Moore as my guest today in the "Comparing Ourselves to Others...and what it does to us" series. Melanie writes from her heart, encouraging and equipping others in their faith walk at Only A BreathPlease make time to visit her there and make her feel welcome here today by leaving a comment. ~Laura

At first, I called it curiosity. After all, I had always secretly wanted to be a private investigator after reading one too many mystery novels. Looking up certain people on Facebook, I even reasoned to myself, was done out of my concern for them.

However, this curiosity soon made a dangerous turn down a path leading to the comparison trap. Facebook photos of perfect white smiles, exotic vacations, an amazing wardrobe, and flawless skin made me cringe. Suddenly, my "innocent curiosity" turned into the overwhelming need to compete with this perfect face on Facebook. I am ashamed to admit that, sadly, it became a habit for me to look at her page in order for me to tally our current score.

If her skin was flawless and mine was not, I obviously lost that battle and the self-loathing began.

If her wardrobe was amazing, suddenly mine looked terrible, and again I had to give that point to her.

If she gained a couple pounds, I secretly rejoiced because I finally found a weakness I could exploit in our imaginary competition. Score one for me.

Curiosity and concern suddenly turned into fierce competition and comparison where no one could win... except Satan himself.

"A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body;
    jealousy is like cancer in the bones."
Proverbs 14:30

This competition became an addiction, perhaps fueled by my need for approval. Even though I knew how unhealthy it was for me to play this dangerous game of comparison, I could not stop. I always felt the need to check on the competition to see how "I" was doing.

One day I realized that comparison was eating away at me like cancer in the bones, turning me into someone I didn't want to be, and someone God doesn't want me to be.

The girl on Facebook is not the enemy—Satan is the enemy, and I was totally and completely buying into his lies. When Satan, the father of lies, whispered that I am not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or popular enough—I believed him.

God gripped my attention and brought me to my knees before Him. I realized that when I compare myself to someone else, I am drowning out His voicethe only One who can ever give me approval. I came to realize that the person I am comparing myself to is one of only two choices: she is either a sister in Christ or she is a lost soul in need of a Savior.

I wept silently as the magnitude of my sin of comparison washed over me.

As a Christian, was I really rejoicing over the fact that a sister in Christ has less money, or has gained weight, or is struggling in her relationships?! On the other hand, could I have been rejoicing over the fact that a lost soul in need of a Savior has fewer friends, or less blog traffic, or crooked teeth?!

God help me and forgive me.

I want to be who God wants me to be. I don't want to believe Satan's lies. I want to build up the body of Christ, not tear it down. I want to minister to lost souls in need, not rejoice in their weakness.

Since I have confessed my sins of comparison, I feel that God is working in my heart and showing me who He has designed me to be, and that is the only path I am capable to walk.

"Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life."
~ Proverbs 4:23

If you have also struggled with comparison, I want you to know two things—things are not always as perfect as they appear online (for any of us) and God is able to replace the lies of Satan with His truth. Walk away from the comparison trap. God is able to give you the approval you most desire. He is able to forgive your sins and to lead you on the road he has prepared for you.

Walk the path He has for you, sweet friend. If I can pray with you, please contact me, and I will be happy to do so confidentially.

*****

Melanie is a wife and mom who loves to belly-laugh and savor each moment of this precious life. She writes to encourage others and share the hope of God's unfailing love. Stop by and say howdy at her blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

Linking up with The Weekend BrewSharing His Beauty, Winsome Wednesday, Soli Deo Gloria, WholeHearted Wednesdays

10 comments:

  1. Melanie, I can certainly relate to this. Thank you for sharing your story here today!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, I so relate and only by his grace and the good fruit He gives am I able to graciously walk though the minefields of Social Media! ANd life... thank you for your honest and grace-filled words, Melanie. This series of posts continues to bless me, Laura.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I so understand this place. I've had to lessen my time in social media so that I can build myself back up through His eyes. Thank you for sharing Melanie!

    ReplyDelete
  4. So much truth to this, Melanie. I have been there, and only in the past year have been set free from the constant state of comparison. I think we all go through it at some point in our lives, until the Lord brings us to our knees in the same realization that you had. They are either our sister, or they are lost and need a savior. This was so so good, friend.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh Melanie, you have hit the nail on the head! I've had that comparison sickness, too. Sometimes it's just a low-grade fever, and other times it's a full-on case of flu. How it steals vitality from my heart and soul. Your words were so true, and they have helped me realize (yet again) that nothing else matters but Jesus. His path, His purpose, His peace.

    May I walk my journey without listening to the lies.

    GOD BLESS!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lovely to see you here, my dear. It is so easy to compare ourselves to others. It can, ultimately, destroy us though. The saying is true: "Compare is the thief of joy." We choose to be a slave to sin. It's inherent. And it takes a conscious effort to praise God each and every day, and to not let jealousy rot our bones.

    XO,
    Steph
    www.newlymynted.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Beautifully said, friend. It is a slippery slope. Thank you for having the courage to share!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Truly, this is a relatable topic for many of us! My friend said, "We don't even have to think about it. We just do it." We, women, that is. Thank you for your transparency and for the scriptural reminders. Comparison being like cancer, yeah. That definitely helps to visualize the destructiveness. Blessings to you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Melanie- Thanks for being honest...I too struggle with comparison and jealousy and have found out too often how much it robs me of the joy God wants me to experience in Him alone...really good points made here :) To the victory of Christ over our sinful nature! Amen!

    ReplyDelete
  10. We don't often see another's struggle. We just see the outside. The good stuff, worth it stuff is on the inside - and that's what we have to try and see! Facebook or real life - it is so important to really try to know people! Thanks for sharing your heart!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!