Monday, February 28, 2011

The Thief of Joy

Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of joy."

Man, was Teddy ever right on the money!

In my 34 years on this planet, I can't think of many things more destructive to my overall happiness and sense of well-being than comparing myself to others.

And as a typical woman... I have a tendency to do this... A LOT.

It's like it's part of the female genetic makeup or something. We look at ourselves, and we start to think about the things we don't like. The things we wish were different. The ways we wish we were more like _________.

More like our best friend.

More like that gal we hate.

More like that movie star.

More like that woman we've never met but we saw her in WalMart one time and we just know she's so much happier, healthier and all-around BETTER than me.

We see it in young girls. Have you ever given a young girl a compliment in front of another girl? Watch out! Even something innocent such as, "I like your dress!" can lead to smugness in one, jealousy and hurt in the other.

We see it in teenage girls. Boy, do we ever! It doesn't matter how pretty, smart, popular, or athletic a person is... there is always another girl that makes her feel like she is constantly in a shadow.

We see it in grown women who really ought to know better. Women who are always wanting to be thinner, younger, smarter, better-paid, or more appreciated than someone else. And who feel miserable when they perceive that they don't, in some way, measure up.

Girls, why do we do this to ourselves?

It may be a normal, human thing to do, to compare ourselves to others... but it's not pretty, is it?

And it's not godly.

And honestly, for our own good, it's GOT to stop!

Theodore Roosevelt was on to the something. Comparing myself to someone else, in any way, shape, or form, robs me of my joy. My joy in life, my joy in a situation or relationship, my joy in the Lord. But it's not someone else stealing that joy from me.

Oh no... it's not HER fault! (Whoever SHE may be)

I'm doing it to myself.

It's like I'm unlocking the safe of my heart, leaving it wide open, and saying "Help yourself!" And this world, sadly, is all kinds of ready to take me up on that invitation.

But when I remind myself that who I am, what I look like, what I have (or don't), what I'm good at, what I struggle with, my strengths and weaknesses, my triumphs and challenges, EVERYTHING that makes MY life MINE is a gift from the God who loves me... how can anything or anyone else possibly compare?

In short, it can't.

"Comparison is the thief of joy." And I refuse to give that thief access to my life anymore!

1 comment:

Erin Welch said...

Great post, Grace!! I love TR & there are no truer words.