A Thief of Joy

“I died for your sins, so that I might clothe you in My garments of salvation.  This is how I see you: radiant in My robe of righteousness.”  ~From Jesus is Calling, by Sarah Young

In my Ezer group, one lady said that comparison is a thief of joy.  I thought long and hard about how comparison is beneficial for me since I compare all the time.

Surely it’s not that big of a deal, right?  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that when I compare myself, the way I look, or the things I have, to others, I feel either pride or inferiority.  I never feel joy.

When we were trying to have children and I was going through in-vitro fertilization, I gained about ten pounds.  Prior to this, I never thought that my body image or the way I look was an idol or a struggle for me.  I was confident in the way I looked, so I had no need to compare myself to others (or so I thought).  But after ten pounds, my clothes didn’t fit well and people were telling me that I looked “healthy.”  I wasn’t even pregnant yet, and although I said I would be willing to gain weight in order to get pregnant, when it happened all I did was compare myself to others.  I began to realize that prior to this experience I felt pride when I looked at others.  Afterwards, however, it was inferiority that I felt, still rooted in pride.

Jesus tells us that the real source of affirmation and joy is in His love and grace.  It’s so freeing to be able to let go of comparing and seek to love others the way Jesus did.  I have found that when I focus on praising God and loving others, I avoid that thief of joy – comparison.  Then I am able to be the ezer that God created me to be.

~Chappell Hughes, Downtown

We recently held our Body Matters conference that addresses body image issues with which women struggle.  Reacps can be found here:  The Body MaskedThe Body CreatedThe Body Managed, and The Body Redeemed.  Video and aduio of the conference are available here.