Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Comparison: The Thief of Joy

Okay! I admit it!

I have been suffering from envy! In the past two months, two of my cousins have gotten married (for the second time). One of them, well, his new wife is going to have a baby. A baby! Do you know how long I have longed for a baby?

Marriage… A baby… Both of these are things that I have desired for as long as I can remember.

Now the comparison starts…Well, they both have managed to find someone to marry, not once, but twice. I’m 37 years old, and I can’t find anyone who wants to spend their life with me. What’s wrong with me? Why am I still alone?  Well, why would anyone want to marry me?

Then all the imperfections… all of my faults start flooding my mind…
·         I have terrible allergies and it seems like I’m always sick.
·         I’m a terrible housekeeper.
·         I’m impatient.
·         I’m overweight.
·         And so on and so on.
The list continues and before you know it…all I can see are the imperfections…all I can see is what is wrong with me and my life.

There is no joy and the light is overshadowed…all because I started comparing my worst to someone else’s best.

I don’t want to live like this…so what can I do to change it? What can I do to get the joy back?

1)      Recognize
The first thing that I need to do is RECOGNIZE that what I am doing is a sin. It goes back to the Ten Commandments… “Do not covet.” (Deuteronomy 6: ) When I am envious of someone else, it is because I am looking at what they have and saying that I want that for myself and that is coveting. Pure and simple! It is wrong, and I need to recognize it for what it is…SIN!

2)      Repent
The second thing that I need to do is REPENT. Repentance simply means agreeing with God that what I am doing is wrong, asking for His forgiveness (because when I am coveting I am saying to God that what He has given me is not enough), and then turning away from the sin.

3)      Replace
The third step in all of this is REPLACING the negative thoughts or behavior with something else...God’s Word. By reading through His promises and drawing closer to God, you can replace those feelings of envy with joy. By making Him the focus instead of what you don’t have, you stop the comparisons. By reading what He has to say about you and who you are in Him, you realize that your life may not be perfect, but you are where He wants you to be.

4)      Repair
The fourth thing that you can do is REPAIR any of the damage that you might have done to the relationship that you have with the person (or people) who you feel envious of. In my case, well, I haven’t actually seen or talked to either of my cousins in a few months (long before I knew that either of them were getting married) so there is really very little damage to repair, but I might consider sending them a gift or a card to let them know that I am happy for them.

I am going to be honest. This isn’t an easy process…First off, no one wants to recognize that they are in the wrong. Secondly, it is easy to tell someone you are sorry, but it is more difficult to make it right and in many cases you can’t make it right. The relationship will never be the same. At times, the relationships could become stronger, but at other times the relationships could be severely damaged by what was done. Thirdly, it takes work and self-discipline to replace that wrong behavior or thoughts. It is not something that is just going to disappear overnight. It takes time and commitment and staying close to the Lord.

Pray for me on this journey…As I will be praying for you on your journey.

God Bless You!

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