As of the writing of this post, Selena Gomez takes the award for having the “Most Liked Instagram Photo” with 5.6 million likes and 217,000+ comments and counting.
Commenting on the picture, an article in Marie Claire says, “And of course she looks seriously good in the picture – that hair, that makeup, it all looks flawless.”
“Flawless.” That’s the typical goal for the appearance of a social media post.
I wouldn’t say I aim for flawless in my social media posts, but I do prefer professional, good lighting, and an enviable setting. Great weather… Great coffee… Great boat ride…
What you didn’t see on my social accounts was the storm that blew in and blew my papers all over, or when I spilled my coffee all over my white shirt, or when I bellyflopped off the wake board. Social media is the highlight reel. It’s the best of the best. It’s filtered, edited, posed, and made to look flawless. When we compare their highlight reel to our real life, things can feel a bit depressing.
Although social media has plenty of benefits, unfortunately it often serves as an open window of comparison into the lives of people all around us.
Comparison is a contentment killer.
In John 21, following Jesus’ restoration of Peter, John says Peter looked at him and asked Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus’ response is classic: “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.“
We spend an inordinate amount of our lives asking, “What about him/her?” God asks us the follow-up question, “What is that to you?”
One of the quickest ways to kill your contentment is to get your eyes off 0f your calling and begin staring at someone else’s. (tweet this)
Paul told the Philippian church, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” He learned it. That means it takes time, failure, and perseverance to get it nailed down…and even then, no one is completely a pro.
And by the way, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” is the famous, often-out-of-context verse found just after Paul’s words on contentment. I know you thought “I can do all things through Christ” was about lifting more weight or running a faster mile, but it’s actually about being content in whatever season you’re in.
That tells me that true contentment is only found in full reliance on Jesus.
Not only do discontent and comparison do damage and stunt growth, they also send a very negative message. When we constantly lust over someone else’s platform, microphone, haircut, finances, lifestyle, or ____________, it tells God He hasn’t given you enough.
In essence you’re saying, “Hey God, thanks for the _____________, but I really wish You would have given me _____________.”
Thomas Watson said it well:
“If you have not what you desire, you have more than you deserve.”
Dave Harvey, in his book, Rescuing Ambition, put his own spin on Watson’s quote:
“We became spiritually rich beyond our wildest imagination as we were adopted into the family of God. We who deserved perpetual punishment received an eternal inheritance.
We were worthy of nothing more than hell.
We got heaven.
Do you have all you desire? Me neither. But we have more than we deserve.”
Don’t allow comparison to kill your contentment and joy.
Thank God for what He’s given you already and be content enough to say, “If I don’t have it, I don’t need it, and when I need it, God will provide it.”
Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. – Hebrews 12:2 (The Message)