Sunday, March 6, 2016

To focus on heavenly things

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Why didn't I get an A on this paper like ____?

Why doesn't my hair/outfit/make up look as good as her's?

Why does she have a cute relationship with a boy who loves Jesus and I don't?

Why does my life seem so stressful and hers look so Pinterest-y perfect?

Why do I stutter giving presentations when no one else does?

Why didn't I make it for RA and she/he did?

Why does her relationship with the Lord look so much better than mine?

Why do I struggle with this and she/he doesn't?

Why do I...

Why don't I...

Why does she...

Comparison is the thief of joy.


Tonight I sat in a time of devotion with seven other girls on my hall as my RA shared what the Lord has been laying on her heart, about keeping her mind focused on heavenly things.

So often in this crazy mess we call life, our day to day activities frustrate us and bring us to tears and our thoughts worry and fear and and question and wander so very far away from Jesus.

We think things about people, about classes, about homework, about our jobs and every.little.detail. that we come across that are *to put it simply* ugly. If our thoughts were written out in ink, so often they would be thick and black and chunky and clumpy and no one would want to look at them or claim them or admit that they, too, think those same things.

Those thoughts, those negative emotions our minds-my mind- are so often fixed on are not heavenly things. They are not eternal things.

Because when you think about it, this life is so short.

The days may drag by slowly, but when I look back, I can't help but think, "Where did the last eighteen years go?"

And I can't help but wonder, "What have I been thinking and saying and doing? Does it reflect heavenly things? Or does it my own selfish gain?"

Because if we are not living for Christ, this life means nothing. He is all that matters and all that will ever matter.

So are we fixing our minds on heavenly things?


My mom told me over and over again, my best friends remind me so often that comparison is the thief of joy.

What good will it do, anyway?


And I know that.

But when someone's outfit is adorable...or that couple looks so cute on Instagram...or when you know someone didn't study and they still got an A on that test you slaved over...

Comparison is the natural human reaction. But it is still sinful. 

Just because it's natural doesn't make it any less wrong.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Comparison does not fall under that category...that category and idea of "thinking on heavenly things."

When Philippians 4:8-9 says, "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things," this does not include comparison.

This does not include envy over an outfit or a relationship or a haircut or a grade.

This includes thankfulness. And peace. And comfort. And rest in our Jesus who has given us all that we need, who gives us more than enough grace for each and every day because he is always good. 

And if He is always good, then there is always enough grace, always enough joy, always enough peace and rest and assurance that I have all I need in Him and Him alone...

There is always enough of Jesus to cover my shortcomings, to whisper to me in the darkest and most secretive places of my heart that He sees me as righteous. That I am His and I am loved and it doesn't matter what the world thinks or even what I think...because I am a daughter of the King, a daughter of the God who breathed the stars and still knows every hair on my head.

Because He is enough and I am His, there is no need for comparison.

There is only a need for heavenly thoughts, for fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:1-2). 

And as I begin this week of midterms and tests and interviews, I'm leaning hard into my Jesus who is strong in my weaknesses. I'm resting in His love and His plan. I'm casting aside thoughts of this world and thoughts of comparison. And with my whole head and my heart I'm going to do everything I can to focus on my Jesus.

I'm going to set my mind on "things that are above, not on things that are on this earth" (Col. 3:2).

It's gonna be hard. The enemy is going to fight me.

But my God is enough, and with Him by my side, I can face any battle, any comparison, any fearful thought...and I can come out victorious and full of joy.