Wisdom may not come with age, but it certainly should come with experience. That’s a nice way of saying that I’ve learned a few things over the years. One of the biggest lessons I think I’ve learned in my lifetime is to never compare yourself to anyone else. Never compare what you’ve got with what someone else has. By never, I mean NEVER!
Comparing leads to coveting, and coveting leads to misery. It’s a trap! The enemy wants to keep you focused on what you don’t look like, what you don’t have, and what you aren’t getting. He wants to make you feel ‘less than.’ Satan has no vested interest in you being content. He can’t tempt you with angry outbursts, body shame, or depressed episodes of defeat if he can’t make you miserable. What I have found is that we tend to help him out by focusing on what this world offers instead of what God offers.
In Philippians 4:8, Paul admonishes us to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. What are you thinking about? Are you thinking about how much money your coworker makes? Are you thinking about that luxury car your neighbor has in the driveway? Are you looking at the model on the magazine cover wondering why you can’t get your clothes to fit like that? STOP. Those things aren’t excellent and worthy of praise. Those things are someone else’s blessings or problems.
You have plenty to be grateful for. You have no idea what someone else has gone through to get what they have. Even if they haven’t gone through anything, it’s still not yours. Be content with what you have. The best tool to fight misery is gratefulness. Start thanking God for the oxygen you inhale and carbon dioxide you exhale. Start thanking God for the ability to blink your eyes and keep them from drying out. Start thanking God for literacy (because you’re reading this). I’m not saying you have to be satisfied with where you are. You can always do and be better, but you can be content on the way to your next level of God’s blessings. Contentment will keep you from comparing and coveting, and therefore keep you out of the miserable trap.
Lord, I thank you for the Holy Spirit that lives in me to help me treasure your Word above everything this world has to offer. I believe what your Word says about me and the promises that You have for me. I know that I don’t have to compare myself to anyone else or covet what anyone else has because You love me just as I am. You know better than I ever could what’s best for me at what time in my life, and I am so grateful that You are God. You created me with my purpose in mind. No one can have better plans for me than You do, and I give You all the praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.Philippians 4:6-8 New Living Translation (NLT)
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.