“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:1-4
Social media is a place to design our lives. We can add filters, take the right pictures, craft the right words, set up the perfect flat-lay—we have the power to rewrite our lives in front of others.
Though we know this, we still compare our branded feeds. Why doesn’t my house look like that? Why aren’t my children as well-behaved? Why doesn’t my husband do sweet things like that for me? Why don’t my clothes look so cute? Why isn’t my body that shape? Why don’t we have as much fun?
Ultimately, the big question behind it all is: why didn’t God give me that life?
Comparison leads to discontentment, which leads to envy—sins that lead to sins. The first sin began with Eve believing God had held something better from her. She forgot the beauty God had already blessed her with in the garden, and she envied the one thing He had kept back from her. And we know how that story ended.
James cuts to the source of discontentment: love for the world. We believe God is withholding something better from us. We forget God keeps back no good thing from us, that He works all things out for our good and His glory—and instead, we seek the gift He gave another.
It’s time to mortify the sin of discontentment, envy, and comparison. Where to begin? Begin with your love for God. Cut the ties with your adulterous relationship with the world and turn back to God. See where you have desired and sought the world more than the beauty of God. What forbidden fruit of the world have you viewed as better than God? What lie have you believed that has said you can have something greater than God almighty? Begin there, my friend.
Dear God, please help me to learn to be content in You. Help me to stop comparing myself to others and envying what they have. Help me to seek You and love You more than the things of this world. Please forgive me for my envious heart. Amen.
Spend some time in James 4, meditating on the idea of worldliness and checking your own heart against what Scripture says.