Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Roadblocks to Maturity: Comparison and Discontent

One of my favorite Pinterest finds is the following quote:

(original source unknown)
I can certainly relate.

And, given this quote's popularity online, I suspect I may not be alone. 
But, enough about you and your issues...this is about ME! 
Oh, look! Another "Roadblock to Maturity" topic just presented itself. What do you know?

I love our house. It suits us, and I'm incredibly happy here...until I see the new homes friends are building or buying. Then, I think about our home being too small or too old...and I'm not content.

I'm pleased enough with my wardrobe...until I walk through the mall and see the latest styles and fashion trends. Then, I realize how sorely my own closet is lacking...and I'm not content.

There's the thing. Did you catch that? It isn't until I see what else is available that I decide that what I have isn't good enough by comparison.

 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 
Genesis 3:6-7

Comparison, in and of itself, isn't necessarily a bad thing. But, when it begins to foster an attitude of discontentment, it becomes dangerous.

I can't entirely remove the temptation to desire what others have. But, I can limit my exposure to those situations that I know leave me discontented, and make deliberate efforts to recognize just how wonderful I do have comparison.

We may move to another house someday. (Although how Bobby will ever be able to drag me out of this one is beyond me.) But, if we do, I want it to be because we've outgrown our space or because a bigger house becomes a dream of ours...not because we're trying to keep up with the Joneses'.

When I compare elements of my life to those of someone else's, and decide that what I have isn't good enough, I'm displaying an incredible lack of gratitude for the blessings God has given me.

That's not okay with me.
And, I'm working on it.

Check out this related article from Relevant magazine. It discusses the dangerous tendency to compare our lives to those of others, via the "perfect" images we're presented with through social media. Another area of comparison that I certainly struggle with....

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