I went to a friend’s house the other night. We talked about goals and dreams and how we could encourage each other…and Jesus. And we laughed a lot — the kind of laughing that makes your face hurt. It was fun and holy and soul-good.
Then, in my car, all I could think about was…her fuzzy, stylish rug and her hip armoire. After talking about Jesus. Then I got home and looked around my house and started that life-sucking, comparison-discontentment game in my mind. AFTER TALKING ABOUT JESUS!
This is a problem.
Thankfully God showed me my inner discontentment and how it was stealing away perfectly good moments — perfectly good moments wasted under the weight of ingratitude. Blech. My heart can be so divided. I mean, how is it that we/I could spend an entire evening talking about Jesus and what He’s gifted us to do and the dreams He’s placed in our individual hearts, and then leave and think about furniture. It’s…
Evidence again of how desperate I am for grace. Thank you, Jesus.
So, four lessons from my own ridiculousness.
First, comparison — which leads to covetousness and discontentment and a host of other life-stealing mentalities — is a black hole out of which we cannot climb without Divine intervention. And it can creep into our hearts regarding anything from interior design to hair styles to vehicles to talents to callings. Stay on guard, fellow Pinterest-lovers.
Second, the only way we stand before a holy God is solely, completely, and utterly by grace alone. Period. Our supposed good deeds — writing or speaking pretty, flowing, power-filled words that point people to their Maker — are nothingness apart from His grace. I can’t even have a holy conversation in which I’m praising the Jesus who saved me without my mind wandering to home improvements. Squirrel!
Third, the way out of the comparison, discontented rut is praise and thanksgiving. It’s the only lasting solution. The turning of the soul which happens as I ask God to search my heart. I ask Him to reveal my thoughts, especially when I sense comparison tempting. Then I ask Him to empower me to bring those thoughts captive to truth. God has graced us with so much, especially that whole “making us righteous in spite of us” thing. Give us vision, Lord.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.
Fourth, and finally, buying stuff and beautifying my space isn’t wrong or evil or unrighteous. God is creative. He made the world beautiful. My home is a place where my soul expresses itself. My home is a place where my personal art comes out. God is looking at my heart. And anytime anything other than Him becomes my greatest desire — from looks to furniture to a relationship — then that means a shift needs to take place in me. Because nothing and no one but Him will bring ultimate satisfaction.
So there you have it. My personal confession of my divided heart — evidence again of my continual need for Jesus — and its many implications. Happy Thursday, friend.
Fill me, Lord…
How have you struggled with comparison in your life?
What do you do with it when it creeps in?