The Comparison Game | Day Twenty One
By: Megan Gover | To download this week's study, click here.
Throughout this study, we have established that comparison is the killer of joy. That theme has rung loud and clear! From killing the joy of radiating the beauty of Christ to the joy of knowing he’s given us every spiritual blessing, comparisons slowly creep in, destroying the awesome joy that God desires for us to have.
Comparisons are sneaky. But we have to be on guard against another culprit. We ourselves must not speak how killjoys!
How would you describe a killjoy?
In essence, a killjoy is a party pooper someone who likes to rain on somebody else’s parade. The words that come out of their mouth and their actions easily threaten the amount of joy and pleasure in others.
For example, a cruel insult or mocking laugh can instantly zap joy: “You’re going to wear that outfit to the party? Why did you dye your hair that color? Why can’t you be more like your sister?”
At one point or another, most of us have used our words to make a negative impact on others. They mimic daggers, deeply producing pain. From snarky remarks to insincere comments, we can find ourselves lacking true compassion and love of the Lord desires for have to port to others.
Far too often we protect our joy and taking great strides to live in the truth of our God-given identities, yet we hold the joy of others with no regard. Whether we have killed someone’s joy on purpose or without realizing it, nobody likes a killjoy.
Have you ever been caught in a conversation that was awkward, uncomfortable, or never-ending? What was your reaction to being in a conversation like that?
If you were to be honest, were you really listening? Or were you plotting an exit strategy?
When caught in conversations that you think are boring or uninteresting, do you ever motion signals that say you are uninterested? (Tapping foot, short answers, withholding eye contact?)
Would you say these non-verbal cues increase someone’s joy or decrease?
If you were hearing the other person, but not interested in what they were saying, what does that communicate to them about their value?
Let’s turn to Romans 12:9-10.
The passage these verses are in is entitled Love In Action. How would sincerely listening demonstrate love in action?
What’s the difference between passive hearing and passionately listening?
How does each affect someone’s joy?
How do you need to devote yourself in love? How do you need to honor others above yourself today?
Thin Mints and Samoas
When I was in high school, I had some friends who finished Girls Scouts throughout their senior year. Though it was somewhat unheard of to continue Girl Scouts for that long, my friends absolutely loved this extracurricular activity.
However, whenever cookie season rolled around, I never missed an opportunity to make a snide remark about selling Thin Mints and Samoas.
Looking back, I can’t believe what a jerk I was! I made jokes at their expense and grew very remorseful of my actions and stopped.
Have you ever purposefully deflated someone’s joy? Made someone the butt of your joke? Insulted them through your laughs or actions?
Obviously, this does not reflect the Lord’s love and grace towards others. Let’s revisit Ephesians 4:29 to see how we are called to use our words.
What does Paul say should come out of our mouths?
When we become killjoys, how are we tearing down others?
How can you use your words today to infuse life and joy into others?
James painted a colorful picture of the destruction of the tongue. Let’s read about it in James 3:3-12.
What were some of the examples used to describe the power of our words?
What does verse 8 say about the tongue?
I think of one of the rainforest frogs that spit poison when I read this verse. What an image! Though it says our tongues can’t be tamed, take some time and pray for the Lord to help glorify Him and build up others instead of destructively using your mouth.
Today, let’s end on a prayer Paul spoke over the church in Rome. Turn to Romans 15:13 and write this prayer out.
Paul ultimately prayed for this church to not only experience joy, but to have it overflow their lives with the hope of Christ. As believers, we should not only choose to safeguard our own joy anchored in truth, but seek to speak it over others as well!
And that’s just it. When we truly taste the goodness of God’s grace and joy, we can’t help but let it overflow onto others. After studying the sheer splendor of Christ’s joy throughout this series, I hope you understand that Christ desires nothing more than to make your cup overflow with joy. When he fills your heart with true joy, it cannot be contained! It is radiant, powerful, and nothing short of wonder.
Though comparisons temporarily steal our joy, we must be vigilant in seeking to see ourselves through God’s lenses. May we begin to anchor our identity in an incomparable God—not how we measure up!
Today, the Lord offers you true freedom from the Comparison Game. Allow His joy to help you break free!