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Comparison Kills Contentment

The categories can range from physical appearance, house, and husband to gifting, maturity and sphere of ministry. From the material to the immaterial, the temptation to compare ourselves to one another as women can be a hard one to avoid. The blogosphere has given even more opportunity as we are not only aware of what the ladies in our immediate area are doing, we are aware of what some gal in Wisconsin, Texas, or Idaho is also doing. One thing blogging has revealed to me is just how many of me are out there. And not just that they are “me” in the sense that they are moms who enjoy writing, but in many cases they are a much better version of “me”. Some excel in humor. Some are thriving homeschool moms. Some seem to be gourmet cooks. Some are avid readers. Others are insightful, and offer profound biblical truth. By and large I find that hearing how other women are seeking to apply the principles of biblical womanhood very encouraging. I love knowing that God is being glorified in homes all over the world as ordinary women live quiet and humble lives serving their families. It inspires me to follow them as they follow Christ. But what happens when I sinfully compare myself and my “lot” with those around me?

Comparison kills contentment? Not exactly. It is a catchy phrase though, and for me it is helpful in the moment. But my pride is what really kills contentment. It is revealed in thinking I deserve better than what I have. It is revealed in a lack of gratitude for the grace and blessings God has given me. It is revealed in not being humble enough to learn from others rather than resent their maturity or gifting. It is revealed in thinking that I should be able to choose the circumstances in which I am to glorify God.

Charles Spurgeon wrote the following helpful encouragement from today’s reading from Morning and Evening:

“The capacity of our wishes who can measure? but the immeasurable wealth of God can more than overflow it. I ask thee if thou art not complete when God is thine? Dost thou want anything but God? Is not His all-sufficiency enough to satisfy thee if all else should fail?… Dwell in the light of thy Lord, and let thy soul be always ravished with His love. Get out the marrow and fatness which this portion yields thee.”

Content = satisfied. God’s Word is so abundant with verses on where we are to find our satisfaction. Psalm 90:14 is one of my favorite: “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” It is wonderful that God’s love is what brings satisfaction, not my performance, appearance, or circumstances. And His love demonstrated in sending Jesus to die on the cross, suffering the wrath that Ideserve, so that I may indeed, be loved with the love the Father has for the Son is staggering truth that makes it very difficult to look at others, and say “I wish I had her…”

By the way, the phrase Comparison Kills Contentment is not original. I heard it on the Christian radio station a few years back, and though the phrase stuck, the speaker’s name didn’t. If anyone knows who he is, please let me know so I can give him due credit.

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9 thoughts on “Comparison Kills Contentment

  1. You wrote this just for me, didn’t you?! 🙂 Kidding! This is what I love about you, Laurie: that you are not only aware and akin to the temptations common to ‘woman’, but you also faithfully offer a biblical “way out” and teach us how to apply the gospel to every temptation we face! Thanks.

  2. I feel like a constantly struggle with pride and comparison sometimes. It creeps up and before I even know it I’m wishing I was prettier, dressed better, was more talented, more loving, or generous like so-and-so. Then I take the things I appreciate about other people and instead of thanking God for them become self-focused on what I lack. This is an excellent reminder of where my focus should be.

  3. YOu know what? I have even compared the number of comments left after one of my posts to the number left after other ladies’ posts. I’m like, “What? Zero comments? Two in a week? How come so-and so has 26 on hers, and she wrote it yesterday?”

    Ain’t that a crock o’ pride! Ditto to what Bri said: thanks for the biblical “way out,” my friend.

  4. I can appreciate your struggle! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and bringing your struggle back to the gospel. I have been reading Thomas Watson’s book The Art of Divine Contentment in efforts to fight off my struggle with discontentment. It is outstanding. Here is a particular quote that I love from this book.

    “Your sufferings are not so great as your sins: put these two in the balance, and see which weighs heaviest; where sin lies heavy, suffering lie light. A carnal spirit makes more of his sufferings, and less of his sins… The carnal heart cried, Take away the punishment; but a gracious heart cries Take away the iniquity. One saith Never anyone suffered as I have done, but the other saith, never any one sinned as I have done.”

  5. Laurie, once again thank you for giving me something to think about. I don’t see myself as overtly comparing, but it is definitely there lurking behind my other more obvious sins!

  6. Danielle wishes she was prettier?! Oh my…I guess we all think silly thoughts! 😉

    Great thoughts, Laurie. I know just how you feel…it can be hard to be inspired and encouraged by someone else’s example. I find I can turn it into something really ugly. :

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