Comparison: The Thief of Thankfulness By Bill Immel, LPC
During the holidays it is often tempting to think upon our lives in comparison with the lives of others. This can happen at church, at work, or when visiting friends and family. In my experience counseling people from all walks of life, this happens probably the most on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Typically the way it works is that we see others with less whatever (ie home, cars, family, toys, friends, trips, health, even looks, etc) and we feel better. Then we see others with more of the above and we feel worse and all of a sudden less thankful.
A major university studied the impact of the amount of time spent on Facebook on people and concluded with two words “rampant envy!” It is everywhere and “there is nothing new under the sun.”(Ecclesiastes 1:9 ). Even Kevin’s house in the Christmas classic “Home Alone” is valued between four and five million dollars! Envy shows us what we do not have. However, when we are thankful we do not see what we lack!
The Comparison Trap
When you face the temptation of the comparison trap, it is so helpful to have scriptures in mind to combat it powerfully. Here is a particularly good one:
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).
I believe that if you asked God to help with the application of this teaching during the holiday season you would enjoy it so much more and feel so much more thankful. As you prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday keep these pointers in mind.
Wishing You a Happy Thanks Giving Season!
By Bill Immel, LPC