Tools to combat jealousy and comparison
A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones. – Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)
Pinned to Home Board
I scrolled through Pinterest on my lunch break and pinned yet another beautifully styled and curated image to one of the many boards I have for “inspiration.” There are boards for fashion, home decor, future house plans, and recipes. There’s even a private board for the wedding stuff I saved years ago, because you know I couldn't have someone else stealing my ideas before my big day! But that day’s pinning was purely for much-needed ideas to help me decorate my rent house that hasn’t quite felt like home yet.
Of my strong suits, being able to take the furniture and decorative pieces I’ve collected over the years and make them fit together in harmony to create a warm, stylish, inviting home is not one of them. To fill in the gaps, I keep trying to find help from outside places such as Pinterest or Instagram, but what starts as inspiration always seems to lead to comparison. I don’t leave feeling motivated to make what I have work - I leave wanting more or feeling worse about my lack of ability to decorate. Why is that?
I think when it comes to comparison, there are reasons why some people can stay content in the face of more while others let it negatively affect their hearts.
Inspiration can become comparison when we lack gratitude and forget that our journey is unique by God’s plan. Contentment can become jealousy when we stop celebrating others and lose perspective of how God is moving in our own lives.
I was lacking gratitude for what I already had, which lead me down a path of comparing my life to others and coveting more. I didn’t even think to celebrate how talented these other designers are, (let’s be honest - they’re almost always professional designers.) And slowing down long enough to thank God for the gifts He did give me never even crossed my mind. Contentment is a heart change, but it all starts with a mind change!
I love today’s verse because it depicts a physical representation of what both peace and comparison can do to us. Peace and contentment heal and lead to better health, but jealousy is like cancer in the bones, negatively affecting us from the inside out. When we allow comparison to grow in one area of our lives, even if it's just on a Pinterest Home Board, it will spread to other areas like our relationships, finances, and families. But gratitude and contentment will always lead us to a place of wellbeing.
Once I realized that comparison was taking over, I stopped the scrolling and started thinking about the talented people in my life who could help me decorate using the things I already had around my home. And when I’m tempted to let my search for inspiration take over, I’ll let Proverbs remind myself how important gratitude is for creating a peaceful, joyful heart and keeping jealousy and comparison at bay.
Challenge: Do you find yourself comparing your life to others or being jealous of what others have? Stop and focus on gratitude, writing down all you’re grateful for in your life. List our reasons why you can celebrate someone else, including ways they’re blessing your life and others. Take inventory of all the ways God is already showing up in your life and the talents and skills He’s blessed you with.
Jantzen Jolly-Miller is a small business marketing professional and freelance faith writer who is on a mission to help women get real: real with themselves, with their business, and with their relationship with God and His church. In addition to being the lead content writer for Wheat and Honey Co., she blogs about personal takeaways from her life and faith walk to help women create positive change in their everyday routines at JantzenJollyMiller.com