on comparison.

God’s voice has not been the loudest one in my life lately. Instead, His voice has been drowned out by the sound of doubt, insecurity, and comparison. Like most other twenty-somethings, this season of my life is about seeking purpose; not the purpose of the girl whose instagram is always on point or the person who’s on track to become the youngest millionaire in their company or whatever. I’m searching for my own purpose– for the thing God promised to me and brought me out here to find. I’m trying so desperately to set my eyes on God, but I’ve gotta be honest — it’s really hard to ignore the rest of the world sometimes.

This morning, I was overcome by a wave of comparison while scrolling through the instagram of a young woman who pastors youth at a well-known mega church. She’s two years older than I am, married, about to have her first child, and — the thing I’m most jealous of — a phenomenal illustrator and writer. From what I can infer by the tiny, little squares on this app, her life and calling is everything I wish mine could look like. It’s silly and I hate having to admit it, but this morning at the breakfast table, while I was supposed to be spending time with God through my daily devotionals, I was too busy convincing myself that this woman is living out my calling.

This, of course, is not true. I know who my God is. I know He called light into being and that He’s crafted the entire universe from a single breath. His resources are unlimited; He did not knit me out of fabric from the scrap pile; He didn’t run out of all the good plot lines when He wrote the story for my life. 

But I do this all the time. I discount the gifts He’s placed in me and gaze longingly at the things He’s given to others. I waste so much time thinking about all I am not and it discourages me from stewarding over all that I am. Comparison truly is the thief of all joy and I’ve willingly handed it over every time I scroll through social media and wish to have something different. 

The truth is I’ve spent nearly every moment of my life doubting my capabilities and comparing myself to people I think are prettier, skinnier, and more talented than I am, that I’m not even sure what my life could look like if I just listened to Jesus’ voice instead.

Instead of the doubt.

Instead of the insecurity.

Instead of the comparison.

How much brain space would be freed up if I wasn’t constantly obsessing over my image? How much more fully would I laugh if I wasn’t so self-conscious of the teeth that have shifted out of place from not wearing my retainers over the years? What could I write if I wasn’t so busy telling myself that I’ll never be as good as my favorite authors? What could I create if I stopped believing there was only space in this world for one type of greatness and that everything worth creating has already been done? 

What would my life look like if I stopped trying to make myself into something for the validation of this world and instead surrendered it all over to God? 

God makes no mistakes and he makes no carbon copies. We are not made in the image of each other but in the image of God himself– He who is infinite and unbounded and everything we are and could never be. He doesn’t write the same story or the same person twice; He has placed in us different gifts according to His grace, so we may discover the unique purpose He has for each of our lives. We were not placed on this earth to imitate one another; we were called to this earth to emulate Jesus. 

My prayer this week is that we would not lose sight of the unique treasures God has so gracefully given to us; that we would not envy the gifts of others. I pray comparison would not steal our peace this week; that we would remain attentive to what sparks joy and steward obediently over them. I pray in the name of Jesus that the word of Hebrews would ring true in our hearts, so we may run with endurance the race set before each of us. That we would not lose our footing while looking over at another person’s lane, but keep our eyes set on Jesus, who is the perfecter and founder of our faith. 

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