Obsessive Comparison Disorder is officially a thing. Apparently, it’s what happens when you spend too much time on social media and develop an anxiety that your life isn’t quite as good as everyone else’s.
I read about it recently, googled and discovered there’s even support groups and online networks for sufferers. The symptoms include obsessive thinking, depression and in extreme cases, long term mental instability.
I admit, I was fascinated.Have we really become so obsessed with ourselves that we’ve created a disorder to explain why we’re obsessed with ourselves? How does such a thing even develop? What kind of foundation (or lack of) have we had, if we believe the lie that social media is real life?
I admit. When you’re going through a tough time, it’s easy to fall into the messy thinking that social media can stir up; why are they so much happier? How come they can afford all that stuff when I can’t? And so on.
There’s a story I love in 1 Samuel 18. King Saul has everything, he’s rich, he’s famous and he’s a respected war hero. One day, a young warrior, David returns home from battle, women are running after him in the road, there’s a huge celebration and people are starting to sing; Saul has slain his thousands, David has slain his tens of thousands.
Saul is furious, nearly beside himself with rage and in the middle of his meltdown, screams, I’VE ONLY SLAIN THOUSANDS, HAVE I??? I might as well give him the kingdom AS WELL!’
Saul compared his life to David’s, took it to heart, found himself lacking and his heart started to bubble up and over with rage.He couldn’t bear the pain of comparison.
Comparing ourselves to others usually results in only one outcome; dissatisfaction. When we use other people as the measuring stick for ourselves (just like Saul did), we’ll never be attractive, thin, rich or successful enough. We’ll always be deficient in some way.
Comparison makes us angry
Comparison affects us in lots of different ways. It can make us like King Saul and we suddenly find ourselves teetering on the edge of furiously spitting volcano. I HATE him…he’s SO perfect…look at him…who does he think he is…??
Comparison makes us pity ourselves
Look at all her pictures…look at all the stuff she does. I’ll never be that popular. I’m not that clever. I’m not that loved.
Comparison makes us sick
What’s the point? I can’t compete. I can’t be good enough. I’m giving up. I can’t be bothered any more.
All of this (and more) because we use others’ lives as the measuring stick for our own.
It’s just not how God sees it. He knows we’re flawed, faulty, prone to anxiety and that we’re really good at making terribly bad choices.
That’s why he sent Jesus, to fix us. And if we choose to be fixed, he sees us instead as he made us to be; fearfully and wonderfully made.
Worth dying for.
Imagine if we compared our lives instead, to what God says about us?