To Read on the Journey

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I have had a love/mostly hate relationship with blogging lately.  In blogville everyone is  better than me at everything.   
Comparison is the thief of joy. 

I have been consumed with favor.  I. want. it.  I'm stupidly jealous of anyone who seems to be receiving accolades while I stand at the sidelines thinking favor is intentionally being withheld from me.
Comparison is the thief of joy. 

I have had an ungrateful attitude regarding our home lately- we moved in last November and there is so much to do, and it is not at all what I want it to be.  From where I'm standing everyone elses home is better than mine.  
Comparison is the thief of joy.

I see others with ability or talent or gifts or skill or whatever that I. want. too.  I've been ticked at God for making everything so easy for them and everything so dang hard for me. 
Comparison is the thief of joy. 

I focus on the financial stability and the financial ability of others while we work a handful of jobs to make ends-meat.  I waste a lot of energy envying their financial security.  
Comparison is the thief of joy.

I watch and assume people have ease in their relationships, while I have a messy history and a tainted-inner-monologue to overcome in many of my encounters with people.
Comparison is the thief of joy. 

I am mad that people get to be healthy and active and normal while my body hurts from various ailments.  I'm mad that my husband needs surgery, and that two of our kids currently have injuries.  It's "one thing after another," and why me, why us?      
Comparison is the thief of joy. 

Comparison is the thief of joy. 
And these comparisons, 
when I  focus on them, 
they cause me to be the ugliest- nastiest- joyless version of myself.


"Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I WAS GIVEN A HANDICAP to keep me in constant touch  with my limitations.  Satans' angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was PUSH ME TO MY KNEES.  No danger then of walking around high and mighty!  At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and BEGGED GOD TO REMOVE IT.  Three times I did that, and then he told me, 

My GRACE is enough; it's ALL YOU NEED
My Strength comes into its own in your weakness

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I QUIT FOCUSING ON THE HANDICAP AND BEGAN APPRECIATING THE GIFT.  It was a case of Christ's strength moving in my weakness.  Now I take these limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size- abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks.  I just LET CHRIST TAKE OVER!  And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become." 
2 Corinthians 12:  7-10

When I don't focus on the first word of each of those comparison sentences,  "I," and focus on Christ instead, I SEE HOW INCREDIBLY EXTRAVAGANT GOD HAS BEEN TO ME.

When my handicaps bring me to my knees I experience intimacy with God, and comparison is replaced with the Joy.
(print available at Kiss the Sky shop)

And like Paul, I quit being consumed by the handicap and begin appreciating the gift...

And I see that "though outwardly I am wasting away," inwardly GOD IN ME IS STRONGER."

And as this happens I experience something quiet the opposite of being handicapped- 
I experience being

This is my prayer for you (and me, cause I NEED IT).  I pray for you to take your eyes of yourself, off of others, off of comparison, and place them on Christ.  I pray that instead of your handicaps (cause we've all got them) causing you to feel defeat that they would bring you to your knees; to your Father, and that you would be found in Him, and in His grace, which is ALL you need.   I pray for you to see these handicaps as gifts, and that His generous Spirit would show you how your handicaps are being used for His glory in you and through you.  I pray that your Joy would be renewed as Christ takes over, and that that would strengthen your Spirit.  I pray that in this strengthening you would find wholeness in Him.  I pray in the Name and Power of Jesus- our Savior, Truth, Way, and Life, Amen!

Does comparison steal your Joy?

Do you have handicaps that cause you to be the ugliest-nastiest-joyless version of yourself? 


Thea Nelson said...

Yes.....yes. This resonates. You are being obedient to speak truth and it always resonates! These words MATTER. He has weighted your words!

Kathleen said...

You're absolutely right. I unfollowed over 60 blogs this weekend because it was causing me to compare, desire too much, and despair.

It was hard, but I realized that I can't be consumed by what others have or do, but need to be consumed by the Lord. The blogs I now follow are those with intentioned people who are just that, human in every way.

Thanks for the prayer, it surely was needed.

Joy Kinard said...

Yes yes yes!!!! I have struggled with this so much lately. I have seriously almost walked away from the blog several times in the past few weeks because I compare myself to others.

Thank God HE is enough.

In Wonder said...

yes to all of this. the truth is we are all broken...this week i have felt like a loser "mom"..."condemned" at church because i'm not a brave, "good" home-schooling mommy, and it is just not the right thing for our family at this time. silly? but feelings can seem so true. From one moment to the next I NEED Jesus! this post was a great reminder and encouragement.

Jazmin @ My Little Memory Jar said...

I can totally relate to this post! Very insightful. Thank you for sharing whats on your heart. It really encouraged me. :o)

Gina said...

Yes and yes, this is an often ongoing struggle. I have to continually remind myself that I just need to be focused on what God has given me, what God wants me to do, and that what I have is enough!

Thank you for the "but God" reminder.

Vintage Country Girl said...

Thank you for being quite real. THIS is so easy to do, and I do it quite often, and need so much help with it. Thanks for reminding me.

The Every Day Extraordinary said...

I just printed this and framed it on my fireplace.

Been on my mind and heart. After a moving debacle this summer, I'm seeking to find joy and contentment right where I am--which isn't easy when your partner still is dabbling in "looking" at other houses--just in case the right one pops up. Sigh. Comparison is the thief of joy and God is the ONLY answer.

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

I ding-dang love this, Lady. Extravagant love - YES!!!!

Spencers said...

Boy, did I need to read this today. I really loved the article you had hyper linked to "everyone is better than me at everything". It made me laugh (mainly at myself!)haha

It is so easy to not see the "joy" there is in our lives. I'll think..OK life gave me a lemon, I need to make some lemonade, darnet! I'll be good for about a week (or day?) and then I find myself in the same old rut.

Joy. When I "see" the joy, I realize how far I have come as a person and daughter of Christ..and realize Jesus sees me as a really really big "pitcher of delicious lemonade". For that, I am grateful.:) hope your having a good day today, a prayer is being sent your way right now.

forever folding laundry said...

I read something several months ago:
"One reason we struggle with insecurity:
we compare our behind the scenes
with everyone else's
highlight reel."


Comparison is definitely a gross, ugly, joy-sucker.
And I think we all struggle.
I know I do.
Thank you for your honesty and your realness
{is that a word?}
and the reminder that His grace is all I need.


Jessica Johnson said...

I love this. I love you. Such a true statement. So easy to get so wrapped up with what everyone else is going, we miss what we're supposed to be doing. Miss you. Praying for us all in this area. I think we all feel it.