When Comparison Threatens to Steal My Community {A Guest Post}

life unstuck intro

I immediately recognized my friend Kristine Brown when I attended She Speaks in July, 2014 and she welcomed me with a warm hug. She has become a continual source of encouragement to me on this writing journey, and I pray I bless her as much as she’s blessed me over the past year and a half. What I love about Kristine’s writing is her willingness to address tough topics like comparison and insecurity and share her experiences with vulnerability and strength. Please give her a warm welcome as we continue our journey to becoming unstuck.

Kristine bio pic

Kristine is a writer, dramatist, and teacher. She desires to support women in their spiritual lives with practical teaching for real-life struggles. Kristine devotes her time to her family, freelance writing, and her non-profit ministry, More Than Yourself, Inc. You can read more from Kristine at www.morethanyourself.com.

When Comparison Threatens to Steal My Community

I sat there at this familiar event – one I’d attended many times during the past ten years of living in our tight-knit community. In small town Texas, everyone comes to support the team, like one big family. But in the midst of the festivities – the laughter and the cheers – I silently watched. I saw friends gathering together, parents hugging children, neighbors joking and yes, taking selfies. Suddenly I felt alone. Disconnected. Like everyone in the community was a part of the community, except me.

I remembered the feeling; it was somehow familiar. I’d felt the same way when we first moved to this new place ten years ago. Like an outsider, like everyone had something I wanted – connection. So why after ten years would these feelings of loneliness come flooding back to my mind? Why after loving, serving, and building relationships here would this feeling of emptiness overwhelm me?

Because the enemy wants me to be discontent with me.

“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.” Galatians 6:4 NIV

Beneath these emotions are the underlying struggles I don’t like to talk about. Talking about them would be admitting my weakness, exposing my sin. Because that’s what these struggles are – a battle with myself. Pride. Jealousy. Comparison.

Thankfully, when I unmask my challenges, God’s peace overflows from my heart. When I share my struggles, I find contentment like I’ve never known.

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In his letter to the church at Galatia, Paul encouraged his fellow believers not to fall into the trap of comparison, but instead to “test their own actions.” In other words, we need to do everything for the right reasons. Not out of jealousy or because we are trying to measure up to someone else. Our actions should flow out of the love we have for our Savior. His sacrificial love for us is more than enough.

We find true contentment in our relationship with Jesus.

The verse above offers hope to those of us who feel stuck living up to an ideal we’ve created in our minds. This verse brought comfort to me on that day and reminded me of God’s glorious promise.

And in true God-fashion, as soon as I claimed His words over my negative thoughts, he affirmed it in my heart. A sweet lady I met when we first moved to town so many years ago made her way to the empty seat beside me. We chatted. We reminisced. We talked about our families.

God taught me once again to claim contentment and let go of comparison.


Kristine put together a power-packed list of scriptures that help her when comparison threatens to overtake her thoughts. She’d love to share it with you. This link will take you over to More Than Yourself, where you can receive your free printable, 21 Scriptures for Overpowering Comparison.

 

*This post is part of the #Write31Days challenge. You can find all posts for this series here.

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16 thoughts on “When Comparison Threatens to Steal My Community {A Guest Post}

  1. Kristine,
    So good to be reading your beautiful post here at Abby’s place!! This post is spot on!! I know when I compare myself to some fictionalized version of others that I see, I ALWAYS end up falling short. How true that we need to filter it through the lens of God’s vision of us. Once again, His truth will set our hearts free. Loved this and will be sure to print out the list of scriptures for when the enemy is prowling about. Thank you for your honest and vulnerable writing!!
    Blessings to you,
    Bev

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    • Thanks Bev! I appreciate the encouragement, and also confirmation that I’m not alone in this journey:) Be blessed, sweet friend. You will find the list of scriptures under the ‘subscribe’ heading in the sidebar on my homepage. Have a great day!

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  2. Kristine, I was just thinking yesterday about how contentment is the antidote to comparison. Your words remind me of a verse my daughter learned in Awana years ago: “Be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” (Heb. 13:5) I so appreciate the thought that learning contentment is not a one-time course; it’s continuing education taught by the most patient of all Teachers! Blessings to you today! (#livefreeThursday)

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    • Lois, that is an awesome verse! I am currently working on a book on this topic, and I’m experiencing these challenges first hand. (I guess it’s giving me plenty to write about!) Thank you for the comment and words of wisdom. Blessings!

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  3. Beautiful, Kristine. Comparison really is an enemy to contentment (AND community). So easy to fall into that trap, isn’t it? Thank you so much for sharing your heart at Abby’s today. I need all the encouragement I can get in this area.

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    • My pleasure, Betsy. I’m always happy to share my struggles in this area and give God glory for bringing me through. Of course, He is still working on me – all the time! And I’m learning to trust Him more and more each day. God is so good!

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  4. I love this, Kristine. I struggle in this area and am still a work-in-progress. This is such a great reminder – “Our actions should flow out of the love we have for our Savior. His sacrificial love for us is more than enough.” That I shouldn’t focus on the actions of others and feel like I fall short but that I should focus on Jesus and His love and what He calls me to. And I’m always enough in Him. Thank you for this encouragement today.

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    • You are so welcome, Trudy. I know exactly what you mean. When my focus gets distracted to what others are doing, I lose sight of His unconditional love and ultimate plan for my life. Thank you for the encouraging comment. Blessings!

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    • Thank you Elizabeth. I’m still learning to recognize the enemy’s tactics when he tries to discourage me. God is bigger and stronger than any voice telling me I’m not good enough! Blessings today, sister!

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  5. So so encouraging! I will remember that I let the enemy win when I’m discontent with me! Nobody wants that! Thanks for sharing your words here today!

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    • My pleasure! Isn’t it remarkable how we feel a burden has been lifted when we kick that voice of discouragement to the curb? When we welcome God in, He provides just the encouragement we need – right when we need it! God is awesome:)

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    • Love you sweet friend! Thanks for affirming that someone else understands my journey:) Glad we can encourage each other and lift one another up when we are tempted by discouragement. Blessings!

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  6. This one struck a nerve. It’s like I was sitting in gym in your place feeling your very emotions. I have been there many times. Praying hard to let contentment overtake the tricky trap of comparison in my daily life. Thank you!

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  7. Words of truth, Kristine: “the enemy wants me to be discontent with me.” How easily he steals our contentment with thoughts of comparison. But reminding ourselves of the truth of God’s Word that says the Jesus in us makes us more than enough fills our hearts with His peace. I love that God sent someone to affirm His truth in your heart. Thank you, Kristine, for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday on Intentionally Pursuing. : )

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