The quickest way to bring torment to your soul is to compare yourself to someone else. Instead, compare yourself to yourself. Years ago, when I was in my 20’s (so really decades ago, LOL) I was looking at the life of one of my best friend’s. She graduated from college a semester before me and got a jump start on her career. She had a great job making more money than everyone I knew. Her handsome boyfriend had a Toyota 4Runner and she got to drive it. She was beautiful and had a great spirit. And she had her own apartment, then bought her own house. I was happy for her. I was glad she had what she had. But when I compared her to me, I came up short. And so, while I was happy for her, I was sad for myself. And my self-esteem plummeted.
I was telling my mother about it one day and she said, “God gives all of us what we need. Before you ask God for someone else’s blessings, ask yourself do you also want their trials?” My friend had gone through a lot in her life and she always persevered and pushed through and God rewarded her. She remained faithful to Him and He blessed her. And that didn’t mean that I wasn’t being blessed. Because I was. But when I kept my eyes on what she had, I couldn’t see what I had. I minimized what God had given me because I thought it didn’t measure up to what He’d given her. But that’s stinkin’ thinkin’ (as Joyce Meyer likes to say). My mom’s words helped me to put my life back in perspective. Helped me look at my blessings. Helped me see the great work being done in me. And when I purged the jealousy, I felt better about myself. I stopped tormenting myself. This is a lesson that I’ve always remembered, and from time to time, I still revisit.
That friend I mentioned is still one of my best friends and it’s 20 years later. She continues to do well. Her career is amazing, that boyfriend is now her husband, the apartment and small house has been upgraded to a huge, gorgeous home. She’s still beautiful. She still has an amazing spirit. And she’s remained faithful to God. And I’ve learned to celebrate my friend. From the depths of my soul, I am happy for her. I want the best for her and I’m excited to see what her future will bring. God gives her what she needs and He gives me what I need.
And He’ll do the same for you if you’ve ever found yourself with similar feelings. Dr. Phil says you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. So be honest with yourself. Then make a list of all the things that are amazing about YOU! I promise, you’ll feel better!