Comparison is tricky.
One minute you’re doing fine, and the next minute you find yourself in a downward spiral comparing your life to your friend without even realizing it. Let me tell you how it got me.
A Story of Comparison
Recently, one of my best friends moved back to North Carolina and happened to move to Charlotte. I was ecstatic when I heard the news. I didn’t have too many close friends where I lived, so I was glad to have someone to hang out with.
One weekend, we decided to get brunch together and somehow our conversation turned into a discussion about when we’d feel “ready” to get engaged. Me? I said I could get married yesterday no questions asked lol, but my friend was a bit more cautious. She shared that there were certain milestones and benchmarks she wanted to meet in her life before getting engaged, some of them being financial.
As I listened to her talk, I immediately began to feel self-conscious about where I was financially in my life. For example, she said that she wanted to save up a certain amount of money over the next year that would have easily taken me 3-5 years to save.
I kept my composure during the conversation, but when I got home and had time to think about it, my emotions started to unwind.
Why can’t I live a “regular” life and work a stable and secure 9-5 job that allows me to easily save money and invest in a retirement plan? #Adulting
God, I sacrificed my life to follow you so why do I have to struggle to pay for things like my groceries?
Will I ever get to a point in my life where I’ll be able to afford what I want?
The enemy is so sneaky. He used that one conversation to not only trap me in comparison but to also plant a seed of discontentment about my life.
I mean what the heck?! I was living a life of purpose! I was in full-time ministry being obedient to God. I was exactly where I was supposed to be. How could I feel bad about it?
But like the old church saying goes – what the enemy meant for evil, God meant for my good. God used that conversation to reveal my insecurity not only around money but also my purpose and how it was something I needed to submit back to Him.
There were so many lessons I learned from that one conversation. The money lesson is a completely different teaching for another time, but for the sake of this blog post, let’s talk about having an eternal perspective.
Living a Life of Purpose
Our lives are not about how much money we make. It’s not about having worldly success and accomplishing lofty goals. It’s not about traveling the world and posting about it on Instagram. Don’t get me wrong. Ya girl still wants to have alladat lol and it’s okay to desire a sense of security and to live an abundant life, but not at the expense that we choose security and comfort over God’s purpose.
When it comes to living our lives on this earth, we must never forget that we are first citizens of heaven. In other words, the time we have here on earth is short in comparison to eternity, and we can’t be so focused on creating earthly wealth that we miss the bigger picture. That’s why Colossians 3:2, NIV says that we should set our minds on things above, not on earthly things.
The truth is living for God comes with a cost. It requires sacrifice and a willingness to trust God even when things don’t make sense. We must learn to DELIGHT in what He commands and that includes the life He’s planned and chosen for us.
Matthew 6:22, NIV says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The passion translation (TPT) puts it this way, “For your heart will always purpose what you value as your treasure.
Where is Your Treasure?
This means if you value earthly treasures (desire to make more money, drive a nice car, have the Louboutin purse and the biggest house), material things will be your master. And if we’re not careful about checking our hearts on a consistent basis about this, we can easily find ourselves disappointed and ultimately discontent because we don’t have what we want or we’re not where we think we should be. Only Jesus can satisfy the longings of our hearts!
If you are someone who is currently struggling financially in this season, I want to take a moment to encourage you! God is a good Father. He knows your desires, and His Word promises to perfect the things that concern you (Psalm138:8). No matter where you are, God will supply every single one of your needs (Philippians 4:19). He knows the bills that are due, He knows the timeline, and I am a witness that He is faithful to fulfill every promise!
But for the people like me who need a quick little heart check, God tells us to love Him with all our HEART, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:37) and we cannot love our versions of success and God at the same time.
Above all else, guard your HEART, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23
Guarding Your Perspective
When you are living a life of purpose, and walking where God is calling you, the enemy will do whatever he can to steal your joy and confidence in Christ. He loves to distract you and he’s super subtle about it, which is why we must be intentional about avoiding his traps!
The Lord gave me a visual of this. It’s like a large field full of holes and these holes are the enemy’s traps to get us stuck in discontentment. For many of us, if we know that the holes are there, we most likely avoid them. Easy peasy! But what the enemy does is he covers those holes with thin layers so it’s hard to see them, making them much easier for us to fall into. That’s what happened with me and the conversation with my friend.
So it’s important for us to be intentional about guarding our perspective. And if you need a reminder about it (just like I did), just know that as long as you are following God, you are EXACTLY where you are supposed to be. God loves you and has great plans for you, but His timing is perfect. He knows exactly what you need, where you need to be, and how it needs to happen so that you can become ALL He has called you to be. Amen?!
Can I end in prayer?
God, thank you for the person reading this post. Thank you for the life you’ve chosen for them and purpose you’ve called them to. Thank you for being a sovereign God who sees all things and an intimate Father who cares about our deepest desires. God, forgive us for comparing our lives to others and help us to guard ourselves against the enemy’s schemes. Help us to focus completely on you and trust you with what you have planned! In Jesus Name, Amen.
- Are you struggling to be content with where you are right now?
- How can you guard your perspective in this current season?
Hanha Hobson is an author, speaker, and the founder of Transparency Ministries. From published devotionals to empowerment workshops, she will stop at nothing to see women encounter God and she is passionate about teaching and equipping them to live a life of freedom. When she is not encouraging others or writing her heart out, she enjoys watching Grey’s Anatomy, eating Chickfila, and connecting with friends on Instagram. Come say hi!