Defeating A Culture Of Comparison

Defeating A Culture Of Comparison

Galatians 1:10: "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ."
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I find myself needing to fast social media quite often. Normally, I will delete my Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat apps for a few days or weeks at a time. I typically do this when I have a lot going on and need to eliminate distractions.

This year, instead of New Year’s Resolutions, I decided that I would fast something new each month. I chose to fast Instagram and Twitter for the month of January. I deleted Twitter because I waste so much time scrolling through trying to find something to laugh at. I deleted Instagram because I realized how heavy I compared my life to other people’s.

Instagram is both my favorite and least favorite app. I love it because I love editing photos and posting them for my friends to see. I love seeing how other people spend time and make their feeds ~cool~. On the other hand, I hate how it makes me feel sometimes. I get caught up in seeing where other people are compared to where I am. It is something that deeply impacts my walk with God.

Sometimes, it makes me strive to be more. It makes me want to spend more time in His word and more time in His presence because I am inspired by what I see. Sometimes, it just makes me want to post more. It makes me want to post more about what I am reading and what has been on my heart to prove that I am just as faithful as she is. Sometimes, it makes me want to give up altogether. I see how God has used @prettychristiangirl and wonder why I haven’t been used in the same way. I feel like I am behind in the race to His kingdom. It all turns into a mental competition in which I seem to be lagging behind.

The reality is that no matter how pretty the calligraphy in my Bible is and no matter how perfect my Jesus Calling devotional looks with my coffee mug, it is worthless until my walk matches it. Here’s what I mean: I can have everything aesthetically put together for a super dope Instagram story, but it is utterly meaningless unless I am applying it and living it out in my every day.

Another reality is that our walk with God is between God and the individual. It has nothing to do with the girl next to you or the person you follow on Instagram. It has nothing to do with what other people see or think. It is a full surrender and submission to a non-condemning and perfect Father. Don't underestimate what God can do in private.

My point is: don’t fall into the trap of comparison. I am so grateful for the people who broadcast their faith because they truly inspire me. I am excited to see how God will use them to do big things because of the fire that is inside of them. Their obedience hypes me up and makes me want to be a part of what they are doing. Use these people to your advantage. Don’t become frustrated or discouraged because their life looks better – because it truly just looks better. Not one Christian is living the way their Instagram is living.

Let your light shine. We have all been given a platform whether we are aware of who it is or not. Jesus has hand crafted you uniquely different from 7.5 billion people. Let that be your confidence to be who He created you to be. Living for the glory of God is so much more fulfilling than seeking the approval of man.

Cover Image Credit: Ben White

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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When You Read Your Bible And Pray Every Day You Will See Yourself Grow, Grow, Grow

I notice a difference in me when I don't read my Bible and pray every day.

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Whenever I hear someone talking about reading the Bible every day, my mind goes back to a song I sang in Sunday School. "Read your Bible, pray every day and you'll grow, grow grow." Whenever we said grow, we would stand up taller and taller, eventually standing on a chair and trying to reach the ceiling. Quite funny right? Yes, but how much truth exists in this silly song as well.

A relationship is built on communication between two people. You wouldn't have much of a relationship if you didn't talk to the other person. The same principle exists in your relationship with God. We are able to talk to God through prayer, and God wrote the Bible as a means of communicating with us. Because of this, it is important to read the Bible and pray every day.

I feel really inadequate in writing this article on this topic because I know how much I struggle with consistency in this area. These things don't become a habit on accident. You must practice this on purpose in order for it to become an effective, lasting trait in your life.

I can tell a difference in a day when I don't read the Bible and when I do. I've found myself to be more joyful when I spend some time reading and meditating on a few verses and talking to God about whatever is on my mind. It sets my focus on things above rather than myself, which is something I have struggled with to be quite honest. I find it interesting that so many Christians find it difficult to have a consistent time with the Lord, myself included. It could be a matter of priority and where Jesus falls on that. I know I've been guilty many times of placing other things before God and they thus become idols.

The song then says, "Neglect your Bible, forget to pray and you'll shrink, shrink, shrink." As we say "shrink" we begin crouching down closer and closer to the ground. It's still quite silly, but a lot of truth is evident. It's a good object lesson to what happens when we don't communicate with God in our relationship and become stagnant. We stop communicating with the Lord and eventually our sin doesn't bother us as much. There's not as much conviction there, so we don't confess it. Then, our fellowship with God breaks and we continue to make more worldly choices.

Whenever I don't read my Bible and pray for a day, I notice how much of my flesh is evident. I get angrier a lot quicker and my patience is a lot less evident. Anxiety and worry are often a lot more evident. All these things aren't of God. He gives the spirit of peace. That's not to say that communicating with the Lord well will never put you in a place where you don't feel at peace. We still are in need of God's sufficiency amongst our insufficiency. It just amplifies how sinful our nature is and how holy Christ is.

I hope this is an encouragement for someone in their walk with the Lord. Maintaining a strong relationship with Him isn't always easy, even though it should be a Christian's top priority. It's amazing at how gracious God has been to me in spite of all the times I've failed Him and wasn't as close as I once was. His grace is still good enough for you friend. Believe me.

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