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 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.
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.