Hello again! So I realized something after posting my last post! I definitely should
have prefaced my last post with the fact that I do not write/blog about these
things because I believe to be an expert on this verse or Jesus or Christianity.
I have always loved writing, and I’ve been learning a lot recently about myself
and my relationship with God that I want to document. I am sharing the tidbits
I have learned in hopes that they might apply to your life too. These have
provoked positivity, joy, and confidence on my journey, and I hope to share
them to do the same for others. I also write these as a way to also store these
lessons and continuously remind myself how to stay joyful, how to love the
Lord, and how to live like Jesus did.
One of the reasons I am choosing to focus on this verse and joy specifically is
because that is primarily what I have been trying to more intentionally live
out; NOT because I am an expert and elude joy every second of every day.
So now with that cleared up, we can move on to what I wanted to share. I struggle
with rejoicing always because of specific worldly reasons, and I have asked
some of my friends what their biggest hindrance is to staying joyful. I started
making a list of these specific reasons. Then with my list, I began praying for
Truth on how to combat my “thieves” of joy. I did gain some insight, and I want
to start with one of the biggest thieves: COMPARISONS!
I’ve found my most common answer and my own BIGGEST struggle is comparing myself to
others! This is an exacerbated problem in this day and age because of SOCIAL
MEDIA! It can be a nice way to rejoice for others, but it is also a picture of
people’s perfections. The comparison of our imperfections to the cookie cutter
picture of one’s Facebook will shatter any ounce of joy we have mustered up.
There is simply no way to compare these fairly. It won’t ever yield a joyful
I do not say these things to deter one to stop and deactivate all social media
accounts because it is a great tool to keep up with friends if it is used
moderately with the right mindset. It is about the perspective in which we
scroll through profiles. It’s a matter of whether you do it to rejoice for
others or find joy for yourself. As I said in the last post, joy comes from
knowing that God’s love anchors us. Joy comes from the Lord and who He says
that we are. Social media can not be our anchor or our joy!
Social media is just one catalyst that leads to comparisons. There are many other
times I find myself letting my joy be stolen because someone walking by as
better hair, makeup, body, wardrobe, success, etc. I’ve learned and realized a
couple of things about these tendencies of mine that I constantly remind myself
when I start to compare.
There are two results of comparing – both negative ones. Either we become envious of
another or we start to feel prideful over another. Either result is selfish thinking that steals joy and does not produce an effective mindset. Even knowing this, our tendency is to compare because we often think of ourselves first. Any success or new outfit we see demands the instant “I want that”, as if there is not enough success to go around or no other outfits in the world. It is almost as if I catch myself thinking that because someone attained a goal that I am working towards, it can no longer be a goal of mine. NEW FLASH: Another person’s success does not effect yours. Our moments to shine come, and another person’s Instagram of her shining moment does not effect you. Be happy in others shining moments as you wish for people to be happy in yours. The selfish comparing nature will still lurk in the back of our minds. However, OH what a dream world it would be
if we commit ourselves to a selfless mindset and truly REJOICE with one another in shining moments.
In a book I just finished reading called Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst, one of the chapters she says, “There is an abundant need in this world for your exact brand of
beautiful” (Terkeurst 126). I love the way that is phrased, but as I was reading it, all I could think was: Do I really believe that? If we truly commit to the belief of this statement, then
instead of scrolling through Instagram in envy, we can scroll with smiles knowing that our beauty and worth is already the most important that it ever can be regardless. So why waste thoughts on being like others when you ARE ALREADY IT! You are already all you need to be! YOU ARE A STAR!
Yeah, we ALL have the imperfections that life serves us—heck I have a pimple popping up on my face right now that I feel like everyone is looking at behind the lid of my laptop. I am
sure there is an Instagram picture awaiting for me on my phone with someone’s
flawless skin! BUT my exact brand of beautiful is important even with a pimple.
My shining moments of flawless skin are coming (hopefully) and even if it is
never the case, it obviously isn’t something pertinent to my carrying out my
purpose for the Lord.
So let us commit ourselves to believing that our brand of beautiful
is exactly what is needed, and it is pertinent to carrying out the mission/plan
God has for us. Focusing on that yields less comparisons but joy for others and
a state of rejoicing. We will be that much closer to REJOICING ALWAYS!
Also link to her blog: She’s
a GENIUS: https://lysaterkeurst.com/