Usually I overlook the self-motivating quotes that are bombarding social media. If they happen to be particularly graphically interesting, I might begin reading, and then my cynicism takes over and I'll drop it half way. I might even do a mental eye-roll...
And if we're (I'm...) being totally honest I even do it with verses friends post on status updates. I am a believer, so wait, shouldn't the Bible encourage me? Shouldn't I be super excited that a friend has found hope or joy in the Word? Shouldn't I scramble to read it so that I may gain that same hope and joy?
But again, I'll read it half way, and then drop it.
Wait is that a post about the Hunger games?
But this one, this quote, that I've seen several times by now struck me this morning. Comparison is the thief of JOY. And that's what I do all the time. Constantly comparing my blog, my followers, my clothes, my appearance, my skills, my intellect, my abilities, my marriage, my friends, my family, my accomplishments, my stuff - to other people's.
I call it my "social media dark place" I'll get so enveloped in what I don't have and my numerous shortcomings and go into a bout of depression, usually lasting days.
"Why don't they like me?" "Why wasn't I invited?" "No one cares what I post."
The truth is that comparison is robbing me of all joy. Of any thankfulness that I could have. Ann VosKamp in "One Thousand Gifts" calls it "eucharisteo"
When all I can see is others, comparison prevents me from seeing the gifts and blessing that I have. It's not caused by a mental disease that is real depression, it's a pity party. And it's a lie.
When I see words of encouragement, hope, and joy from the Bible, the truth is that it should strike me. If it doesn't encourage me it should cut my heart to reveal sin I'm in. But I haven't even been letting it cut. I've shut it out, overlooking, and in the back of my mind knowing that that is wrong, that it needs to be fixed.
I am sinful and need a constant reminder of that. Of God's grace. And this morning it took a quote from Theodore Roosevelt to remind me. I might be sinful, and in a constant battle, but God wants me to have Joy. I may not be part of the "it" crowd, but God wants me. I may not have many followers on the internet but what is that worth?
So that is now my prayer. To be thankful, and out that will come all the other fruit that my life is called to bear.