Watch Out for This Thief

Don't Let Comparison Steal Your Joy

A lot of people really look forward to summer. Who doesn’t love long, lazy days or hanging out by the pool without a care in the world? That probably isn’t the reality for most people every day, but it’s fun to take advantage of slow, carefree moments when we have them.

Unfortunately, though, some people dread summer. Summer is a time of unveiling and shedding layers. For those of us who prefer to be covered up, out of sight, unnoticed, this shift can be a difficult one.

Summer is a time when everything is on display. It’s too hot to hide underneath bulky coats or long pants. For some people, this is easy. They are comfortable in their own skin, happy to shed the weight of those layers and get some much needed Vitamin D. But for others, this is hard. Summertime brings out the biggest thief of all: Comparison.

Comparison is here, and he’s come to steal your joy.

A lot of young people (and older people, too) deal with comparison, and it is not fun. Comparison sucks the fun out of summer (or any time of year, for that matter). Whether you’re dealing with body image issues or something totally different, it’s important that we don’t let Comparison win this year.

I’ve had my joy stolen by Comparison many times, but I’ve learned some lessons along the way that have helped me find my joy again. If you, your students, or someone else you know is dealing with Comparison, I hope these reminders will help you through it.

Remember that everyone is insecure about something. This is not an open invitation to find out what someone else is insecure about so you can feel better about your own insecurities. This is just one of those things we tend to forget when we see someone who looks flawless in their swimsuit or who seems to have it all together. When you feel yourself getting jealous or judgmental, just remember that you can never really know what battles those seemingly-perfect people are facing.

God made us in His image, and He doesn’t make mistakes. It’s easy to think that God maybe slipped up when He gave you your funny-looking nose or too-wide hips. But the truth is, God is a God of intentionality. He made us out of dust, and what a joy it is to know that He made each of us on purpose! There are times when He has to refine us, when He has to teach us lessons and work on our hearts, because of mistakes we’ve made, not because of anything He did wrong.

Comparison can only steal our joy if we let it. I know it’s easier said than done, but try not to let what society tells us is true dictate what we actually know is true. It’s not easy, but when we rest in God’s Word, it does get easier. Instead of worrying about what other people are thinking about us or feeling inferior to those who seem to have it all figured out, remember that we’re all fighting our own battles, and we all need a little encouragement now and then. If you want to beat Comparison at his own game, try being kind to others.

This summer, take a stand against Comparison. When he rears his ugly head, remember that God made you on purpose and with purpose. We will fail and forget and Comparison will grab ahold of our joy. Hold on tighter. Use that purpose God gave you to spread the joy Comparison threatens to steal.

And, most of all, have a joyous summer!


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