I think we all get caught up in the comparison game from time to time, but comparison hurts and sometimes it hurts more than just us.
Some people shy away from social media because they think it’s like a big old comparison vacuum and they’ll get sucked in if they get too close, but it doesn’t need to be that way.
There’s a verse in the Bible that tells us to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.
Some of us do a lot of weeping, but when it comes to rejoicing, our good sense gets taken over by the green-eyed monster called jealousy.
One of our friends has a son who made the honor roll for the third quarter in a row and instead of being happy for that child and rejoicing with that mother, we get down on ourselves and feel like loser parents for having not-so-smart kids.
You know what?
Neither of my children made the honor roll this year, but that doesn’t make me a loser parent and it doesn’t make my children dumb. It makes us pretty average people who can be happy for someone else when they succeed.
I desire to see my friends and family succeed.
I want them to do well in school and at work. I want to be happy for them when they get that promotion or take that trip to Disney World for the fifth time. Sure it’s the family vacation I haven’t been able to take my kids on, but so what. Just because I don’t have something, it doesn’t mean I can’t be happy for another person who does.
When a friend posts a picture of a meal with meat, potatoes, and a vegetable and it looks like it was ripped from the pages of a food magazine, I don’t want to get huffy because I fed my kids hot dogs – the cheap kind that are made from pig lips, fish guts, and sodium by-death-icate.
It doesn’t make me a bad mom. It makes me a lousy cook. Someone’s gotta be.
(Yes, we take multivitamins.)
For every time one of us gets something right and we share our success with our friends, family, and the inter-webs, we have a long history of failures behind us. That’s the truth.
I hope when I am down and discouraged that someone else will come alongside me and pat me on the back. I pray they’ll remind me that things will get better and the sun will come out tomorrow, but I also hope that when I’m enjoying success, that same someone will be happy for me. It will fill me with double joy to see them cheering me on and giving me a high-five.
Heck, we all need a thumbs up. Let’s not be stingy with our praise.
It will destroy your peace and it can make those around you sad. It will cause your friends to second guess everything they say or do. They will keep silent when they should be shouting their good news from the rooftops.
Comparison is a joy thief and a happiness killer.
Let’s keep on weeping with those who weep, but let’s get ourselves whole inside, so we can rejoice with those who rejoice.
Lay aside the temptation to compare yourself to friends or family, and instead, simply enjoy them.