8th April 2019

Compare Down

“Do you look at things according to the outward appearance?…For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
2 Corinthians 10:7 & 12 (NKJV)

In a recent study I highlighted the false values that affect so many young people today, amplified by social media and television. The sad fact is that you can get sucked into a world where you think outward appearance matters more than inner character, where social media can make you feel inadequate. At best they make you feel unhappy, uncertain, unsettled and take away your natural enjoyment of life. At worst these feelings can impact your life so you end up depressed, sometimes even suicidal. Clinical depression is a totally different topic and I recommend that you don’t hesitate to seek and accept medical help.

One helpful principle is very simple—don’t compare up, compare down! Instead of looking at other people and thinking everyone is better looking than you, everyone is better off then you, everyone has more likes, a better job, a better house or flat, a better car and a better life, stop! Compare yourself with those who have little or nothing. Look at people who are affected by natural disasters and see the flimsy homes they inhabit, which are swept so easily away. Think of people in poorer countries who don’t have all the things we take for granted, heat, light, power, clean safe water and a roof over our heads. Remember the old saying, “I had no shoes and thought I was unfortunate, until I met a man who had no feet!” Then think about what you could do for them, however little. Even a modest donation to a suitable charity can make a difference. Simply doing that will start to focus your mind outwards rather than inwards.

Then count your blessings. Are you fit and well? Can you walk several miles if you want to? Do you have a choice of clothes to wear and food to eat? Do you have more than one pair of shoes to wear? Do you have clean water, heat, light and power? Do you have a roof over your head?

Comparing down, not up and counting your blessings can make a real difference to how you feel and how you see life.

Gracious God, our young people are living in a tough, unforgiving world, subject to pressures that older generations did not know. Please be with them, encourage them and draw them to you so they are freed from the wrong values which surround them today. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Keith Hartrick


About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: malcolm701@googlemail.com

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