THE THIEF OF JOYWe have all done it at times. We compare ourselves to others, and according to Theodore Roosevelt, “comparison is the thief of joy.” So why do we put ourselves through the pain and anguish of comparison?

I love Pinterest; I could spend hours upon hours looking at all of the beautiful creations that talented people post. I am just amazed at the creativity of some people. I couldn’t have imagined the project, to begin with, and I can’t even copy it with them giving me the outcome. But, what I love to look at are people’s homes and the way that they decorate them. Whenever I see a picture on Pinterest or FaceBook, I enlarge the photo so that I can take in all of the details of their home. I love seeing the decorated fireplaces, the little entrance tables filled with knick-knacks of the holiday that is soon coming, and all of the perfectly placed photos of their gorgeous family on the walls. I enjoy seeing these, but something inside me is also envious. I look around at my own home and here is what I see: my fireplace has decorations on it that haven’t been changed in years, my entrance table is cluttered with what I have put on it as I came through the door, and my walls are mostly bare because I painted five years ago and have never hung anything back on them. Oh, and don’t forget, I have a Christmas tree in the corner that has been up for around three years. Truth be told, there is NO comparison.

My sister and I were talking yesterday morning about comparison, and she told me about something that she had run across when she was in college. The quote said, “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” So basically, there’s no middle ground with comparison. You either compare yourself to others and find yourself lacking and become bitter, or you might think of yourself as being superior and be vain. Thinking that you are better than others is just as bad as thinking that you are lacking, because they are both wrong.

2 Corinthians 10:12

12 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

My sister and I have both been using an App called Read Scripture. This app will remind you that you need to spend time with the Lord at a time that you specify. We have been reading about Moses and the Exodus from Egypt, and how the Lord used skilled people to do His work on constructing the sanctuary. My sister laughed and said that she could see the wife of one of these craftsmen saying, “Oh, boy. I married a tent maker.” She might have even said, “I wish I had married a Priest or a Prophet.” The woman had no way of knowing that the Lord had given this special talent to her husband to do the work of the Lord.

Exodus 36:1

So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.”

Maybe my gifting is not in decorating. Maybe my writing skills are not what I would like them to be. But, maybe, just maybe, I am exactly what the Lord intended me to be, and so are you!

Have A Blessed Day!

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33 Comments

  1. My house is a disaster area because of my daughter’s dogs. I look at pictures of other people’s homes or decorating tips I would like to try, then I look around at my mess and give up 🙁 She has always had anxiety issues and then had the worst of the worst happen to her when she was twelve (I can’t even type it) so rescuing dogs is how she copes. So, I mourn the loss of my “pretty” home as a sacrifice for her mental health. But, pretty home or not, God loves us anyway and I’m thankful to see my daughter’s faith and strength grow daily

    • Tania Reply

      Deb, I am terribly sorry that your daughter has these anxieties, but it is wonderful that the dogs help her. I agree that the loss of a pretty home is a small sacrifice.

  2. Lana Douglas Reply

    Thank you for writing this…..I needed the encouragement it gave. Have a great Sunday!

  3. What a beautiful post. I am so guilty of this! I have 2 sister in law’s that are my age. One is absolutely “perfect”. Her house is perfect, her life is perfect, her body is perfect, etc. when I have to attend a family event with her, I leave wanting to go hide in a hole. I know I should not compare myself to her, but I do. Unfortunately, she is not what a typical 50 year old woman looks like, but my husband and others use her as the measuring stick, so I never measure up. She does facials, Botox, and fillers regularly, hair and nails, gym every day, has a housekeeper, etc. I cannot afford any of that, so I just avoid the gatherings whenever possible. After 12 years of it, I just quit going. That is not the way to handle it, so thank you for this post today. I will try to be better.😊

    • Tania Reply

      Gina, I feel your pain. I run around with someone who is 20 years younger than me and drop dead gorgeous. Don’t let the comparison bug keep you from enjoying life. Your sister-in-law might be envious of you for reasons that you aren’t even aware of. She might love your laughter, your ability to make others feel good about themselves, or even your beautiful eyes. We can’t look inside others thoughts, so remember that you are a King’s daughter, and go enjoy your family.

  4. Kelly Palmer Reply

    Thank you for this wonderful post and the reminder that God doesn’t make mistakes. We all are unique and have our own special talents and most importantly we are precious in His eyes 🙂

  5. We winter in a 55+ manufactured home park in Fla. One of the things I love about it, is we are all on equal ground. The homes are all similar, lot sizes the same etc. It is so refreshing, we all come from different backgrounds, income levels, education, occupation etc but here we are all a like just like in our Father’s eyes♡

    • Tania Reply

      Sue, that is the same concept that some schools have when they issue uniforms for the children. That way everyone is the same, no matter the income level.

    • Tania Reply

      You will love that app. It is a mixture of reading and videos.

  6. Deborah Broughton Reply

    Excellent post. Exactly where I am and what I needed!
    Thank you!

  7. Sharee Christians Reply

    You nailed it , sister. I am 67 and in the last 3 years my face has really taken a beating . It is hard to look in the mirror and even harder to put on makeup and , when done , realize it is no longer doing it’s job!🙄

    • Tania Reply

      Looking in the mirror, and at my pictures on the internet, is what made me start with R+F. I was comparing myself to my much younger self, and not liking what I was seeing.

  8. Thank you so much for your words today. They really struck a chord with me as I’ve been feeling low after comparing my achievements with some of my Facebook ‘friends’ and feeling down that I’m not doing as well as them. I think I’ll print it out to remind myself every so often (and my kids!). Ps I’m a follower from Ireland

    • Tania Reply

      We all have those areas in our lives where we don’t think that we measure up. Remember, Facebook is a highlight reel, those people have their own insecurities that you don’t know about.

  9. Love your words, yes you are Blessed with them, and it’s your talent. You have grown so much over the years. It’s a joy to see it God Bless you more xx

  10. Wow! Tanya, I started out reading your blog because I wanted to change my wordrobe and wanted advice and ideas . I love your use of color and comfortable clothing styles. I enjoy even more ‘the rest of the story’ that is the part of your blog about your family, your town, your travels, and your Sunday devotionals. I am at a point in my life that my ‘comparisons’ are about becoming a better, healthier me – not trying to become a different, unrealistic version of someone I’m not. Your blog helps me think about more than just clothing and make-up. You also, maybe indirectly, address how to cultivate an inner beauty, kindness, love for others and forgiveness (of yourself and others). You set a good example are an inspiration. Thank you for your honest Christian witness.
    Cindy

    • Tania Reply

      Cindy, thanks so much for following the blog. I try to be upbeat and inspirational, so I appreciate that you think that is part of my genre. I pray that the Lord uses me to reach others.

  11. Charlcy Green Reply

    Tania, my favorite thing to do is decorate and I’m pretty good at it. But…I could never go across country to speak at seminars like you do! We all have our God given talents and I’m glad you use yours to help us! What a great Sunday blog!

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