#Challenges of Comparison: Discovering Contentment

Sunday, January 29, 2017

“My buddy Steve is the most competitive guy I know.  He not only has to one-up anything I say or do, but then he has to tweet about it.  And post a selfie with whatever award he won…or the cool place he just visited.


I used to feel really good about my life and what I’ve been able to achieve.  But I look at Steve and feel like I can never catch up.  I would never tell him-or anyone I know-this, but it makes me feel like a loser, like I’m no good at anything.”

—John K.


#Challenge of Social Media

The challenge of being discontent marks the social media generation.  We live in a world of abundance, comfort and convenience.  Social scientists recognize that technology plays a pivotal role in our constant unhappiness.  When we see the lives of others being more exciting, rewarding, and fulfilling than our own-we feel we are missing out.


We often don’t realize that the majority of people put “their best foot forward” only revealing what they only want others to see.


“We compare our behind-the-scenes with other people’s highlight reels.”

—Pastor and Author Steen Furtick


#Self-evaluation: 3 Areas of envy (discover which might be relevant to you)

Financial Envy: Do I get financial/material envy of others? 

Relational Envy: Do I get sad/disappointed at seeing others enjoying their relationships?

Circumstantial Envy: Do I get restless with my situation when seeing the ‘success’ of others?


Philippians 4:12-13, p. 832

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  


“Content” (Greek) autarkes means “self-sufficient.”


The Stoics (Greek Philosophy) used this word (only occurs here in the New Testament) to mean human self-reliance and perseverance, a calm acceptance of life’s pressures, but Paul uses this word to a “divinely” bestowed sufficiency—whatever the circumstances.


#Everything in this world fades

Things.  Places.  People (relationships): they will never bring complete contentment.


#Only Jesus Christ

Only Christ will fill the emptiness inside.


#Overcoming Comparing

2 Corinthians 10:12

“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 


James 3:14-16

“But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” 


Overcome comparing (envy)

  1. Removing the stimulus/trigger

        If it is a particular facebook page stop viewing it


  1. Celebrating the other person’s success

        Taking our eyes off ourselves and onto others.

        “Celebration sends a kill shot right to the heart of envy.”  —Pastor Craig Groeschel


  1. Overcome comparing (envy) by cultivating gratitude

        Envy is resenting God’s goodness in other people’s lives and ignoring God’s goodness in your own life


Proverbs 15:15

“For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.” 

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