Monday, April 20, 2015

Comparison is the thief of joy
Hello sweet friends! Hope your Monday is as sunny and happy as mine has been! Today is special. Today we are kicking off the new Hot Tea and the Empty Seat Community with an article from one of our own, writer & wife, Gemma Watts! Gemma blogs over at Deepest Treasure & resides in England. She is so sweet & it's a blessing to know her! This morning, she brings us encouraging & truth-filled words on...

'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?' Shakespeare writes in Sonnet 18. 
Well, I think we'd all agree that we'd love a strapping young fellow to compare us to a summer's day, wouldn't we? I don't know about you, but summer conjures up all sorts of beautiful memories of friends, family and fellowship. Not to mention the weather!
But what would happen if Shakespeare compared us to something else, something less beautiful, something less worthy of praise? How would you feel about that one? I don't know about you, but I'd probably leave feeling a little disheartened, a little less worthy of that person's time or acknowledgement.

The truth is, every single one of us falls into the trap of comparison minute after minute, day after day.  Shakespeare wrote about this in 1609. Comparing ourselves to someone or something is not a new idea. In fact, it's a very old one. But nevertheless, it's a trap that we continually have to battle. 
How many times have you scrolled through your Instagram feed and thought 'man, I wish my house was like theirs' or 'I wish I was that beautiful' or perhaps 'I wish I was that godly'? I know that if I put my hand on my heart and give it a really close look; I've done it. Comparison works both ways too. How many times have you not followed someone on Instagram or some other form of social media because their page doesn't look good enough, or their blog not fancy enough? Hand on heart? I've done it. 

You see, as Christian women, our eyes are so often pulled into looking at the things of this world for satisfaction. Our world says that you're not good enough unless you've got the house with all the beautiful things inside, or the hair that swishes in the right way in the breeze, or the new clothes for every season. 

So what does the Bible have to say? 


Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[d] is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

-1 John 2.

Ouch. There it is. Friends, when we compare ourselves to someone or something, other than looking to Jesus, we're lusting with our eyes. If we think we're better than someone else, we've got the pride of life. Either way, we're not looking to Jesus. We need to be secure in who we are and not anything else. We were bought with a price. A price that Jesus paid on the cross. Surely that makes you feel more loved and valued than ever? The world will pass away. It's desires will pass away. But God will stand forever.

Next time we scroll through our Instagram feed and are tempted to compare ourselves to others, how about we stop and remember that we were bought with a price? Let's remember that Jesus loves us. When we're tempted to judge others, let's remember that same thing. We're not better or greater than anyone else. Each soul is a soul that needs saving by Jesus. 

Father, help us to do these things and be women who act upon your word. Amen. 

-Gemma, HTATES Community Contributer


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