I sometimes wonder if social media was non-existent where would we be. Would people feel the need to accomplish anything at all? If we had no one to share our accomplishments with would our accomplishments be as valuable? If no one cared that your hair or make-up was on “fleek”, would you wear it? Where would we be if we never cared to have anyone’s approval or affirmation? What would church look like if Pastor’s never cared about a building fund? What if we just worshiped in the park every Sunday? What would life be? This is a much deeper thought process for a much more extended project. But I will begin today with an excerpt from the current dialogue taking place in my mind.
Over the past year or so I have become increasingly sick and tired of the patterns of this world. I realized that I no longer wanted to live my life under anyone’s preconceived expectations, nor did I want to just be an extended version of those I was surrounded by. I just simply wanted to be me. I decided that moving forward, I would be intentional about being the person that God has created me to be, not influenced by anyone else. I wanted my marriage to be my own. Not a page torn out of someone else’s book. I wanted my experiences with my daughter to be my own and not something duplicated from a self-help manual. Simply put, I wanted to live a life with true purpose and so I that’s where I began.
I notice that many people tend to associate purpose with glorification, public recognition, and material gain. It seems as though we assume that when people are successful they are living in their purpose. But the truth is you can be extremely successful and still be the furthest away from your true purpose. Furthermore, success has nothing to do with your material fruitfulness. I assume that could be why we find a lot of depressed and drug-inflicted celebrities. Purpose in its truest form brings forth self-esteem, self-value, and it empowers others. You experience your true purpose when you live God’s way:
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. (Galatians 5:22-23, Message)
So how is it that we can go through life achieving every goal we ever set out to attain but still feel empty and unaccomplished? Well there are several reasons for this; but the one I will address today is jealousy. Many people are motivated by their jealousy towards someone else. We look up at people and envy what they have and in turn become jealous towards them. Because we think that they are more than, we go through life trying to reach their platform. When your goals in life are correlated with motives of being better than someone else, you will never truly be happy. You will never be good enough. Goals rooted in insecurity only produce more fruits of insecurity. That means that if you are aiming to lose weight because you think a woman smaller than you is the epitome of beauty, you will still be unhappy even after the weight is gone. That is the truth in every essence of your life. It is important attach your goals to purpose. For example, if you want to lose weight, allow it to be because you want to establish a healthier lifestyle and to be more effective in the things that God has called you to do.
The danger with jealousy is that it brings about the spirit of comparison. To compare yourself to someone else is to acknowledge that you think there is a such thing as someone being better than or less than. However, scripture tells us that each of us is an original. So how can you truly compare yourself to someone when, truthfully, you never began on equal playing fields?
Furthermore, when you feed into this mindset you are becoming a part of the problem rather than the solution. If you think that someone is better than you, it is safe to assume that you think that someone can also be less than you. If you think that a woman in a bigger house than yours is more special than you, what are your thoughts about a woman in a house smaller than yours? Is she now just a charity case? Are you now more important than she? Let’s take it further. Is she less important to God? Absolutely not!!
I love it when Paul tells us not to compare ourselves to one another because we have far better things to do. It is so true. It actually brings tears in my eyes because God wants you to have priceless experiences in Him. If you go through life just checking a box of accomplishments, all while never having a single moment of true joy, what is it all for?
Jealousy, in my opinion, is the complete opposite of love and admiration. Love and admiration is when you see your sister thriving in her purpose and accomplishing her goals and you are happy for her. You even feel compelled to assist her. You want to see her happy! She inspires you to achieve your goals. Jealousy is so ugly because it somehow makes you wonder if her goals should be your goals. You begin to feel like she’s doing better than you. You put yourself down and question accomplishments. It’s ugly and it ruins friendships. It places people on platforms or pedestals that they never asked to be on and it leaves them subject to your judgment.
My point is let your only competition in life be: to be better than you, ever rooted in the fruits of the spirits. And if you lose a race against yourself, that is an entirely different blog entry. LOL
Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original. (Galatians 5:25-26, Message)