The Comparison Trap

In this world of technology, every day becomes a battle of resisting comparison. Whether it is access to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat, the ability to see other people’s lives in a photograph or with a post can be a daily struggle of discontent. The picture or post may appear to reflect a positive, healthy relationship or successful career and life, but looks or posts can be deceiving. No one wants other friends and family to believe there is trouble in paradise.

Appearances must show “everything is awesome”, just like a kid’s movie, Lego Land portrayed. The sad part about this representation is it is a lie; it brings a person more sadness. You can’t hide forever. The fallacy of “Let’s keep up appearances” is physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually exhausting. It ultimately causes more envy, more loneliness, and more depression.

What was deemed a community access point, ie.. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat have instead led to more isolation. The number of Followers may seem to say a person is popular and well connected. Often it may mean the exact opposite; multiple acquaintances but less meaningful relationships.

I find the less I reach out to the social media sites, the more content I am. In a podcast from John Eldridge, “The World Part 1”, Mr. Eldridge and his fellow radio commentators discussed the increase in depression, loneliness, and its cause of discontent being The Comparison Trap.

We used to value our differences in likes and dislikes. We used to stand for our opinions; however, it is becoming more common that all views are considered above the Creators. Our need to feel the affirmation of others has overtaken our self-esteem. Even if I was to post a blog on this topic, I may anxiously await a Follower’s opinion as a like or dislike or anticipate a comment of affirmation after publishing my next blog.

What has become with a society that seeks constant reassurance instead of being content that the Lord creates each of us uniquely with a specific purpose? Seeking human affirmation over God’s approval is wrong.

If we aren’t transparent and honest with at least a few trustworthy friends, we may become increasingly isolated. The Lord calls us to community, all humans need connection and to feel heard and understood. To feel invisible and isolated is not the answer. We must seek meaningful trusting relationships with a few chosen friends who encourage and support one another (Isn’t that what Jesus did with his disciples?), friends who listen attentively, who give advice when asked, who are willing to be transparent in good and not so good days. Friends with whom we can share our insecurities, joys, and failures are priceless.

I am blessed to have some of those friends; I am forever grateful for their input, listening ear, discipline in words, or actions with love. I hope I am seen in the same light. May that Light be the light that reflects from me as I learn of Jesus.

Reflection: Do you have meaningful trusting relationships? Are you seeking God’s approval or human affirmation?

Author: Mary Mesikapp

Mary Mesikapp is a lover of nature, sunsets, mountain drives, and hikes. Mom of 4 (through blessings of open adoption, and our foreign exchange daughter from Brazil), previous Trauma / Emergency room Nurse, past Director of a Pregnancy Resource Center, student of the Bible as study leader and mentor.

Mary has spoken in schools and in churches about life purpose. She learns more about Jesus every day especially through the challenges and looks forward to encouraging women and families to be strong and steadfast in relationships and life.

You can connect with Mary on her website @inspiringlightthroughthecracks