Comparison: The Thief of Joy

Social media is a cesspool of comparison. There is absolutely no way to deny it and if we would be honest, we would admit that as much as we don’t want to compare ourselves we do. I found myself drowning in that pool recently and I had to get the heck out there. So I removed all of my social media apps cold turkey.

At first it all started with me seeing a girl in a dope outfit on Instagram and thinking to myself, “Oh she is wearing that!” Soon after that I found myself looking at picture of Kim Kardashian on the beach looking all slim and fearless, feeling hopeless because I would never look like her. I even fantasized about what it would feel like to look like her and when I looked down at myself and saw my psoriasis covered rolls around my stomach I just cringed in horror.

I am one of those people who like to think I love myself but in truth I and in the process of unwrapping decades of being put down by others and years of self-hate. It wasn’t until I snapped out of my fantasy of looking like Kim K that I realized that by remaining in that space that I would be ruining any progress I’ve made in truly accepting myself as the chubby, psoriasis covered queen that I am.

I would love to be able to say that I can be on social media and be unfazed by all the hype but I still find myself being negatively influenced by it. One thing I will admit is that it’s me that is allowing this to happen, so it has to be me who works on making the change. That is why I’ve decided to leave social media for a bit and work on myself.

Will I go back to it before I’m completely healed? Probably.

But I will not return until I’ve done some extensive work in learning to love myself more thoroughly. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Let Me Spill Some Tea

Why is gossiping so easy? How many of us are partaking in it and think that we aren’t because we are “just talking?” The answer to that is most of us. I was just sitting with my sister talking about a personal family situation and without even thinking about it, I fell into gossip. The crazy part is that I really thought I was just giving her some good advice. It wasn’t my intention to gossip, it just happened and it wasn’t until I was done talking and was rehashing our conversation that I even realized what I had done.

Why is it so easy to fall into gossip? I wanted to understand gossiping more, so I could get to the root of it and see where I fall short, so I looked up it’s definition. Gossip is any kind of talk about someone who isn’t present and it’s most often something we think we can make a moral judgement about, whether it be to approve or disapprove the information. I also found an article in Time where they suggest that gossiping could have been a reason that our ancestors had survived and evolved because it was like grooming and it helped them bond and I was like, what? How? Then I read some more and they mentioned a professor named Matthew Feinberg who said, “when subjects heard about another person’s anti-social behavior or an injustice, their heart rates increased. When they were able to actively gossip about the person, or the situation, on the other hand, it soothed them and brought their heart rates down. The act of gossiping, Feinberg explains, “helps calm the body.”

How many times have you sat with a friend and they say ” I have to tell you something” and your heart begins to race as you anticipate the information you are about to hear? Then when they finally tell you there’s this weird euphoria. Feinberg is right. It does calm you down. It does feel like a moment of bonding. How insane is that? It’s rare that gossiping makes you feel uneasy and I believe that has to be the reason why it’s so easy to gossip, because as humans we crave belonging and feeling good. It’s a matter of our flesh taking precedence over what we know to be right, and it’s the posture of our hearts towards the person we are speaking about as well. There have been plenty of times when I feel the need to execute my judgement of some one I’m not fond of and all of a sudden my opinion becomes a “verdict” laced with poor judgement, but when I’m fond of someone I think twice about what I say and still fall short and that’s wrong.

So now that we know that the root of gossiping is our selfish flesh, what can we do about it? I’m glad you asked.

First, we must put our flesh to death daily. Not a physical one, but a spiritual one where we bring all of our thoughts captive to Jesus Christ and flee from temptation every time it rises up. Then we must think of others as more important than ourselves, understanding that we are called to love everyone just as Jesus loves us. We should also always seek to edify people with the words that come out of our mouths because like Proverbs 18:21 says, there is power of life and death on our tongues. Even if the other person can’t hear us, we should speak about others the way we would want them to speak about us. We do reap what we sow, right? Lastly, like the old saying says… if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all.

I believe that if we can all be diligent about making these things a part of our daily life and interactions we will gossip less and eventually quit gossiping all together. Do we want to stop though? That is the question.

Until next time, you are love and have purpose.

Here’s the article about what gossip is scientifically if anyone is interested

Love is the Greatest

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Real love doesn’t demean.

Real love isn’t haughty or deceitful.

Real love isn’t abusive.

Real love isn’t conditional.

Real love isn’t shady.

Real love doesn’t lead you to sin.

Real love takes it’s time and is unconditional.

Real love uplifts and encourages.

Real love comforts and consoles.

Real love is unconditional.

Real love covers.

Real love leads you to Christ.

I can say with confidence that most of us probably didn’t know this kind of love, the kind that covers. I know I didn’t for a long time. Deep in my heart I wished for a love like this not even knowing how to verbalize that it was what I needed. I didn’t know what it looked like or have the language for it. I didn’t even know where to find it. I thought I could find it in people that let me be a part of their clique, or through meaningless transactions of sexual acts with men and sometimes women, but it always left me feeling worthless and more empty than the last time I attempted to find it. It wasn’t until I gave my life to Jesus that I understood what real love is. I couldn’t fathom the idea that someone perfect like Him could love me in all my dirt and grime. I didn’t think that the God that I never reverenced would want to love me but He did. He loved me so much that He died to save me and you. He taught me that I could give up the worst in me that was killing me to become a transformed version of me and experience perfect love from the one true and living perfect God. I implore to whoever reads this, no matter where you are in life, there’s a perfect love waiting to take you in. There’s a love that wants to uplift you and walk side by side with you through this life and guide you into truth that will set you free from the bondage that you are currently in, and His name is Jesus Christ. He changed my life and my thoughts and I’ve never felt more safe. Love is the greatest gift you could ever receive and it is the greatest gift you can ever give. I pray that you will accept this devotional today as my gift of love to you. I love you and most importantly God loves you more than you know. (John 3:16)

Until next time, you are loved and have purpose.