By Heather Templeton
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
I’m going to make a bold statement that I believe in with all of my heart:
If we look closely at the center of every moment of discontent we experience, comparison has left its calling card behind.
Oh it might disguise itself as something more noble.
Goals. Dreams. Aspirations.
Something we are working toward that we have not yet achieved.
Something we desire that we do not yet possess.
And for the record, none of these things are bad in and of themselves.
It is GOOD to have goals, to work hard, and to see that hard work come to fruition.
The Lord himself plants dreams and abilities deep in our hearts, and as we grow in this life and in our walk with Him, we see them begin to surface. As we exercise our talents more and more, we come alive in ways we did not know were possible.
It is good to dream.
But an over-abundance of desire for what we do not have can quickly and easily move us right into comparison territory.
Envy. Longing. Jealousy.
Discontent begins to grow where joy once was, and we begin to wonder just what it would be like to have what so-and-so has.
The doting husband.
The perfectly behaved children.
The beautiful house. The stylish car.
Somewhere in all that dreaming, we become discontented with what the Lord has given us, and it is no longer enough.
“Why can’t my spouse treat me the way so-and-so’s spouse treats them? I’d be so much happier if that were the case.”
“Why can’t my kids behave like so-and-so’s kids, at least while we’re in public? I’d be so much less stressed if that were the case.”
“Why can’t we make just THAT much more money, like so-and-so does? We could stop worrying about bills and buy the house and cars of our dreams … take that much needed vacation. And speaking of vacations, I see so-and-so also just got back from their tropical getaway. Must be nice to be able to afford that…”
Oh, the greener grass.
It always LOOKS appealing.
But we all know just how deceiving looks can be.
In an age of social media where anyone can post anything, and virtually alter themselves or any other image to look exactly as they desire, it’s no wonder our comparison is in overdrive.
But there’s no photoshop for the heart and soul of a human being.
The Lord created us each unique and with a purpose. He has given us love and grace, mercy and compassion, and so many more indescribably wonderful things that this earth cannot even compare with.
My friends … we need a heavenly mindset.
We need to focus our longings on the ONLY thing that can truly and wholly satisfy us, and that is the heart of Jesus. When we connect with Him, love Him, desire Him, and keep Him first in our lives, comparisons cease.
Our hearts align with the creator of the universe, and the world with all of its glitz and glamour fades.
I’m reminded of an old hymn that we’d sing in church when I was growing up:
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth, will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.”
Turns your eyes today, my friends.
If we could catch but a glimpse of our Saviors face, and the glory that awaits us when this life is done … We wouldn’t spend one more SECOND wasting our time on worldly comparisons.
“O soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free.”