1 Timothy 6:6, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
I stood amazed in her living room. Her home looked like a picture from a magazine, with a charming, farmhouse style throughout. Scented candles were burning, filling the air with a warm, vanilla scent, and every surface was spotless. Each throw pillow and blanket was in its place on the stain-free, white sofa, and I felt like I could have eaten off the kitchen floor. Pristine and beautiful are the words that came to mind. “Lord, my house has never been this clean or this beautiful. And she has children!” I thought to myself.
A few hours before, my friend had sent me a text inviting me and my children over for a play date. I was so excited for my boys to have friends to run around with and for some much needed grown-up conversation over coffee with my friend. But, as soon as I walked through the door, I almost let my joy and excitement be robbed all because of one little word: comparison.
There is a familiar quote by Theodore Roosevelt that says, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Oh boy, did I experience this that day! Looking around her home, my heart was filled with jealousy. I entertained lies that said what I had was no longer good enough, pretty enough, or clean enough. I began thinking how I might could change my décor to be more like hers, or how long it would take me to scrub my house as clean as hers.
Thankfully, the Lord quickly stopped this cycle of thoughts by bringing to mind this truth from His word: “But godliness with contentment is great gain…if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that (1 Timothy 6:6,8).” Contentment- the total opposite of comparison. Here are a few differences between comparison and contentment:
Comparison says, “What God has given me is lacking.”
Contentment says, “God gives me everything I need.”
Comparison says, “I always need more to make me happy.”
Contentment says, “Satisfaction and joy are found in Jesus, not things.”
Comparison leads to disobedience, pride, and selfishness.
Contentment leads to obedience, humility, and selflessness.
Like me, we will all be tempted at one point or another to compare ourselves to what others have, but freedom and joy will always found in believing that what God has given us will always be more than enough.
Lord, fix my eyes on you and not the world around me. Help me to be satisfied only in you and grateful for how you continually meet my needs.