What To Do When We Compare
That ugly green monster of jealously welled up inside my heart. I didn’t like this jealous person, but she just appears. I am surprised to see her when she shows up in my heart, because I don’t really think of myself as a jealous person. As a newly married woman I would get jealous of nurses, PA’s, and other hospital staff…but mostly out of insecurity – not discontent with my husband. Discontent with myself. Discontent with my circumstances. My own ability.
After reading Rachel’s story in Genes 30 I am reminded that discontentment is the first step towards jealousy.
I might not use the words “envy” or “jealous” to describe how I’ve felt….but discontentment is definitely a heart attitude I’ve harbored. We think of the holiday season can lead to discontentment when it comes to gifts. Our children see the adds on TV and they (we) want to buy it all, but our budgets tell us we can’t. We try to help them be thankful and grateful, but jealously seeps into their hearts too. This year, not so much the gifts, but the relationships get me all jealous. I have friends who still have their grandparents in their lives. They will spend the holidays traveling home and sitting around worn tables where laughter and joy flow freely.
For me, it the season I miss my grandmother the most. The one who passed away only 7 years ago last month still lives within me. Three out of my five children never got to meet her. None of the five remember her, so it gets me all envious to see the wrinkled old hands holding babies in pictures on Facebook.
When Rachel (in the Bible) focused on her disappointment, she only thinks of what she doesn’t have: a baby.
Whitney Capps in her devotional from First5.org says… “I become so consumed with what I don’t have that I lose sight of God’s faithful gifts already in my possession.” Don’t be consumed with what you don’t have….be consumed with all of the things you do have! Do you compare your life to those who have more? Can we focus, together, on what we do have and let go of those things we do not have? What do you possess this holiday season? What good gifts can you list?
I’ll go first…
1. Family still alive and in good health.
2. Close family relationships, which aren’t strained.
3. Enough food to feed my family, and to give to others.
4. A place to worship without the fear of persecution.
5. Good coffee I can make daily in my kitchen.
What good gifts can you give thanks to God for? In this season, we focus on what we don’t have…..and forget, even if we have nothing: we have God, and His Word. Don’t forget the you have access to the light and joy this season can bring, right in the pages of Scripture. If you are struggling with where to read for the month of December, can I encourage you to check out my new Advent Reading Plan, Light Breaks Through. 25 Days of Scripture. 25 Days of Prayer. 25 Days of focusing on God’s Light. Just $10! You get a TON of bonus pages as well! Order here.
The season of advent is one of joy and light and beauty, but sometimes it is overwhelming and dark and hard. Let God’s Light shine into this season, starting with your heart. The power of God’s Word is available to help light the way and break up with a busy heart this Christmas season.
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