We’ve all done it. We’ve all been there.
We stop whatever we’re doing and stare at a friend’s Instagram photo, thinking to ourselves, “I wish I had that.” Suddenly, whatever “that” is becomes internalized as something we must attain in order to feel good about ourselves. Sometimes, we focus on a person we admire who’d we’d like to be. Other times, it’s a relationship we wish we had. And then we share our desires with the world by reposting an image along with the hashtag #RelationshipGoals, #Goals, #LifeGoals, #BodyGoals…the list goes on.
What we don’t realize is that we’re slowly destroying our confidence in who we are as children of God. Whether you realize you’re doing it or not, comparing yourself to others is the greatest thief of joy—joy in who we are, joy in who God made us to be; the very same “us” that is so delightfully and wonderfully made in His image.
But it’s hard not to be fixated on what you think you lack, because we’re simply DROWNING in content thanks to an ever-expanding Internet.
Each time you browse Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter or Tumblr—you’re bombarded. Never in the history of the world have humans encountered this much information. Our brains simply can’t process everything, so we focus on the things we can relate to…and that can be dangerous. Girls, for example, become fixated on the lives of other girls—girls that have something they don’t. All without realizing that they’re staring down a two-way street.
“Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others.” Galatians 6:4
Now, we can throw Scripture at you all day concerning this very harmful disease, but that’s not quite enough. It’s never enough. Because the moment you stray from this article you’re going to shift your attention to your newsfeed. There, you will undoubtedly see a friend and her boyfriend enjoying an amazing dinner and it will make you wish that you were her, and that you had a boyfriend to take Instagram photos with. So you tell yourself that you’ll work towards that moment. That all you need is to drop a couple of pounds, play with your hair color and maybe splurge on a new outfit—then you’ll have earned a seat at that table.
Our brains can’t handle it. We struggle to consciously separate our lives from “theirs” because we’ve all become so intertwined—just think about all the photos or status updates you post weekly, daily, hourly…
Our society has become so obsessed with sharing whats “ours” and absorbing what’s “theirs” that guests will attend an event simply because it’s a “cool” photo opportunity. I bet you’ve done it—we all have. It’s all rooted in that feeling of being accepted, that feeling of being loved and admired.
And it has to stop.
Are you even enjoying yourself? Are you even living?
Maybe all we need is a little more self-control and gratitude for what we do have. Maybe all we need is to recognize that our worth isn’t defined by the events we go to, the #RelationshipGoals we have or the length of our hair—our worth is in Christ and Christ alone.
At Project Inspired, we’ll sometimes make light of topics like relationship goals because we’re aiming for a laugh. We see your comments, and some have prompted us to reconsider these posts. Clearly, we’re guilty of it, too. Our team struggles with this just as much as you. Ultimately, we all need to hold each other accountable.
When you see yourself pausing to look at a friend’s photo of their amazingly awesome day, just be happy for them—don’t dwell on the fact that you’re not doing that, too. Instead, plan your own trip, and do it because you want to enjoy and experience life. Don’t settle for a FOMO existence—live a Godly life.
Live the life YOU want—a life in which you are loving others for who they are and a life in which you love yourself—the beautiful and awesome woman that God made you to be.