Comparison, and the real culprits.

10:41 PM

There is topic that has been trending among blogs these days, and it's all about comparison.

  I think it's because it is so universal....whether we want to admit it or not, it is something each and every one of us has either struggled with in the past, or is struggling with still.  And it is a potent, consuming thing, sneaking up in unexpected places and stealing our joy, robbing us of our contentment, and wreaking havoc on our previously peaceful lives.  I could go on and on.   But I won't.  You can read an excellent post on it here, which is maybe the best one I've read yet.

   I think it's my favorite because although she briefly mentions a few things that can encourage comparison (friends, blogs, Instagram, etc) she doesn't name them as the sole culprits.  And that, right there, is the problem I have with this whole new trend in blogland.   It seems we are all willing and ready to admit that we have a problem with comparison:  that is has permeated every aspect of our lives, and we are all worse off because of it.  But something we're NOT willing to address, is where all this comparison is coming from.  I have noticed many people blaming specific sources, like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. often in the form of blog posts like this.  While this author had a lot of very valid, and good points to make, I just can't say that I entirely agree.  And this is why.

Instagram is not the enemy.  Facebook is not the enemy.  Pinterest is not the enemy.

   They can't make us envy, covet, compare, or be jealous.  Those are things that all come from within.  And the truth is, long before there was ever any of these social media outlets, there was jealousy.  There was covetousness.  Just think of those movies like Pride and Prejudice when no one could have imagined the access to technology we would one day have, but all of those people still swept into the grand hall, eying all their peers up and down, sneering at someone's dress and drooling over someone's else's, gossiping in the corners about the latest "status updates" of those present and quietly ignoring (blocking??)  the ones they'd rather not talk to.  Do we really honestly think that if we would have lived in Laura Ingalls Wilder's day we wouldn't compare ourselves to other people?  I highly doubt that would be the case.

   Certainly, the accessibility into people's homes and lives because of the internet can make comparison easier.  But it doesn't make it happen.  It happens when we think it, embrace it, and make an agreement with it.  It happens when we make a choice to internalize that, instead of what God says about us. 

   Technology is not the enemy here.  These vices have been around for as long as humanity has.  And it's not going away by itself.  I think we need to stop focusing on the wrong culprits, and own up to our own role that we play. I know for myself, I often fall prey to comparison.  And I am trying to identify the pitfalls in my own heart, and begin my changes there.  Because if I don't, things will never really change.

Just my thoughts on this late, Saturday night, long after I should have been in bed.

And I would love to hear yours! What do you think about this whole thing?

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  1. I am with you on this!! Pinterest has been a blessing to me: I can barely look at it for 5 minutes before I'm inspired to go clean something or to make a new gets me up off the chair and excited to work. It's actually made me spend less on clothes because instead of just buying whatever I happen to see that looks cute, I've got my Pinterest inspirations in my head and have found myself easily saying no to items that don't fit into those pictures. I guess it was made for visually inspired folks like myself, where I see a picture of a room I love and instead of being bummed that I don't have a house like that, makes me work to figure out how to incorporate my dream house ideas into where I'm living now. I'm not on Instagram so I don't have an opinion on that, and on Facebook so many people say the strangest things (like they think they can get away with anything because they're not speaking to live people) that it just makes me laugh and be glad I'm not them. :) I think some of it is people want to be able to proudly say "I will not indulge in Pinterest because it leads to envy and I will not give that sin a stronghold in my life...and you should all do the same b/c I'm holy and right" like it's some badge of honor or something. If a social media site makes one suffer with envy, then quietly disconnect from it...don't make a huge stink about it so as to try to make everyone else feel bad in what should be a very personal quest for purity. I guess it's because I realize online lives are pretty fake that I don't find myself too caught up in what people show us on the struggle with envy definitely comes from real life experiences and people I know personally. I have to pray the Love Chapter almost daily (love does not envy!) and I've found that it helps, big time!

    OK, well, that was a lot of writing. Sorry 'bout that.

  2. Great post!!!! I totally agree. Thanks for taking time to write it out!

    Kinda new reader here. Mind if I stay? :)



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