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The trap of comparison: 3 things that steal from our time in the Word

 

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room…

Whether or not you share your Bible journaling on social media or only with friends, you have likely felt the pull to compare your art to others. It’s a natural response we have as humans to try to determine the value of something: We compare it to something similar.

However, comparison will never accurately determine the value of something that is connected to our hearts and our journey of faith. 

These things are beyond comparison and their true value can only be determined by God and you.

When we give in to our natural response to compare something that bubbles out of our heart, we run the risk of 3 things:

 

  1. Our joy of being in the Word can be stolen and we are distracted from our purpose for Bible journaling

  2. Our hearts are blinded to the fact that we are on our own journey and we forget how far we’ve come

  3. We devalue the beauty we are offering to God and we overvalue the talents of others

 

You may have realized that comparison can do this but I want to point out to you how dangerous these things can be. 

 

Number 1: Our joy of being in the Word can be stolen and we are distracted from our purpose for Bible journaling

When we are distracted from our purpose of Bible journaling, whether that’s to connect with God, hear from Him, or document His faithfulness, we lose big time.

Bible journaling is supposed to be a tender time with God where our heart and ears are open to His promptings and whispers; things we NEED to hear should flow from this time.

However, when our minds and hearts are preoccupied with comparing our art to someone else’s, the Word that God meant to sow in that time is stolen.

In Matthew 13, Jesus tells us the Parable of the Sower. In verses 3-4 it says: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.”

When we allow comparison to dominate our thinking and feelings about our Bible journaling time, it is like we’ve allowed birds to eat up what was meant for the good soil of our hearts. We’ve allowed it to be stolen by focusing on what we should not.

I’m sure you feel the same as I do about this but I NEVER want to miss out on God’s voice because I know how life-changing it can be and how badly I need it. So, let’s train our thoughts not to drift to comparison.


Number 2: Our hearts are blinded to the fact that we are on our own journey and we forget how far we’ve come

Each one of us, as Christians, should be growing deeper and deeper in intimacy with God. Growing is a journey, we progress. We go from glory to glory. We go further up and further in. 

But when we allow comparison into the equation, not only are we missing out on God’s voice and can become stagnant, but we forget how far we’ve come.

In general, I believe we all tend to forget this but celebrating our growth is a key component to contentment, to happiness. 

Think about this: we can’t enjoy where we are at if we are constantly comparing ourselves to where we’re not. Expectations can also steal our joy (especially those unrealistic ones that we’ve made for ourselves rather than received from God).

 

Number 3: We devalue the beauty we are offering to God and we overvalue the talents of others

When we fall prey to comparison, we devalue our time with God and overvalue the artistic skills of others. Is Bible journaling about ART or HEART?

The pursuit of Bible journaling is ultimately NOT about your art, it is about seeking God in a place He wants to connect and speak to you. If you’ve made it about your art (how bad or how good it is), then it has become an idol.

Ask me how I know. 😉

Comparison can be a good tool. I have learned a lot by analyzing the art of other Bible journalers and it has helped me improve greatly. But this can only happen after we’ve settled in our hearts that our time in the Word is not worthy of comparison to determine its value. 

The value of our time in the Word is determined, not by comparison, but by God and how it draws us closer to Him.

Dear one, God has such amazing plans for you: Plans for healing, plans for hope, plans to use you to help change the world for His name’s sake. Can I encourage for a moment and say, don’t let ANYTHING interfere with those plans. 

Allow nothing to keep you from drawing closer to God. If you find something in your life that hinders your relationship with God, throw it out the window with no regrets! Don’t allow comparison (or anything else) to keep you from receiving love and instruction from the Lord.

Much love my Bible journaling beauties,

Amanda

About Author

Amanda Schenkenberger

I'm a wife to a hard working man and a mama of three little adorable boys. We live near Portland, Oregon and we love it. Portland has a great vibe and we love sharing the good news of the gospel with the people here.

I'm a stay at home mom first, then a work at home mom. The kids have to come first. I love people, hiking, coffee, converse, and Jesus. I also love coffee. And another favorite thing of mine is coffee. :) If you like coffee, we should be friends.

My one ridiculous dream I'd really like to come true is to collect one of every Starbucks mug that is related to a city or country.

Have a blessed day!

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