Last week I counted on my Instagram feed no less than three friends who were in Paris at the time. I had a real moment of comparison: this person is in Paris while I’m sitting under fluorescent lights trying to avoid the Georgia summer heat.
Falling into a comparison trap is pretty easy when we have social media living on our phones but it seems especially easy in the summer.
Our friends are going on summer vacations that seem much more fun than ours.
Our friends have summer jobs that are more enticing.
Our friends are taking their kids on an amazing family trip (while our kids are lucky if they make it to the pool this week).
Comparison is that tiny little monster that sneaks up on us when we least expect it. Comparison comes to steal our joy, to steal our children’s joy, and to distract us from what God wants our eyes to be.
The Bible reminds us “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” Romans 12:2 (ESV).
The Lord does not tell us to focus on what others are doing. A successful summer in the world’s eyes might be doing something fun every single day, or taking a giant vacation or being constantly entertained until it is time for school to start again.
What is God’s idea of a successful summer? How can we spend these next few months being “transformed by the renewal of [our minds]?”
Can we avoid falling into the summer comparison trap? Can we focus our eyes on being transformed through our relationship with Jesus Christ and not by conforming to a worldly idea of a successful summer? The Bible says “look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time…” Ephesians 5:15-16 (ESV).