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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God's Lack Of Healing Is Not A Lack Of Goodness

His will above mine time after time.

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One of my favorite Christian songs of all-time is "Even If" by MercyMe. The chorus reads "I know you're able and I know you can, save through the fire with your mighty hand, but even if you don't, my hope is you alone."

Do you feel like you're in the fire? My 10 plus years of struggle with my mental health often feels like the fire. In the midst of fire, prayer is often a Christian's first thought. Prayer is powerful and necessary, but more often than not, in the midst of our troubles, we pray to be healed, saved, and for life to be fixed.

God is the healer, but our prayers can't be all about us. When we pray for healing again and again and see no change, we are likely to feel let down and disappointed. Why isn't this good thing we are asking for coming to fruition?

My answer to these questions comes from a guest speaker at my church, who once said, "Just because God doesn't heal, does not mean He is not the Healer."

We think that because God can heal, that He will in every situation. This is not always the case. In Psalm 34 it says, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones, not one of them is broken."

We are going to have afflictions in this life, but God is going to deliver us. He might not deliver us from them in our lifetime, but we are promised eternal life, and an eternal deliverance. We may be beat up by life, but He will not allow our bones to be broken. He will not break us. We are His children.

So try changing your prayers. Ask God for His will to be done, not your own, and for His name to be glorified, no matter the outcome.

Perhaps your pain can be used for God's good, both in your life and the lives around you. We must have faith in a God that does not punish us aimlessly or for His own sport. Our pain is never in vain.

There is another song that I love called "Let the Waters Rise" by Mikeschair. It's kind of an old song, but I love the message it sends. The chorus reads, "There's a raging sea right in front of me, wants to pull me in, bring me to my knees. So let the waters rise if You want them to. I will follow You."

When we are faced with our trials, our first thought should not be "Get me out of here!" it should be "I will follow You." Put God's will ahead of your own and let Him lead you through your trials, leading you by the hand.

He is able and He can save us, don't ever doubt His power to heal you instantly, but trust that if He is making you wait, or if your situation in life is less than ideal, that He has a plan. He knows what He's doing far more than we ever will.

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