I have such a heart for teen girls. They face many unique challenges, especially growing up in this social media age. I wanted a Tuesday Truth post specifically for them, and immediately thought of Carly to share. Carly is a college student at our church, so unlike me, she’s lived through middle & high school in this social media age. It’s an honor to see the Lord work in Carly’s life, and I love this Christ-centered perspective on comparison and social media she gives. Even if you’re not a teen girl, I believe this post will challenge and encourage you (it did me!).
By: Carly Poteat
Comparison has become such a normalized term in today’s society for teenage girls. When I was a teenage girl in high school (which wasn’t that long ago), comparison is something that I battled with on a daily basis, and still do. The life that showed up on my social media looked better than my own life. I believed that if I was more like the girls that flooded my Instagram feed, then I would find more contentment and acceptance in my life. Dear girls, that is the lie of comparison.
The only place we can find contentment and satisfaction is in Jesus Christ! Even when society shouts out comparison, our God shouts acceptance! The enemy tricks us into thinking that giving into the things of this world will make us happier, have more friends, have a better life, etc. But the Bible tells us that God is the source of our happiness. Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” The only place we can find true satisfaction and true joy is in the presence of the Lord.
The biggest influencer of comparison is social media. As soon as we log onto Instagram or Facebook, we are surrounded with the lives of other people that seem far more interesting than our own. We envision what it would be like to have what they have or look the way they do. We use the famous line, “I wish I was just like her,” or “Her life is so much better than mine.”
When we choose to drown ourselves in comparison, we are basically telling God that everything He has given us isn’t good enough. We belittle and become ungrateful for what God has blessed us with when we long for the life or image that someone else has. I am very guilty of this. We cannot live out our calling if we are too busy wishing we had someone else’s calling. We need to realize that comparison is a sin. If our hearts and minds are overwhelmed with envious thoughts, then we are not putting Jesus on His throne.
Comparison traps us into thinking that God’s blessings are limited. When we look through the eyes of this world, we always see what we don’t have instead of what we do have. Girls, be reminded that God’s blessings are unlimited and He has a unique plan for your life. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” When comparison takes over, our actions become more of a self-glorifying mentality rather than a kingdom building mentality. Our main purpose should be to glorify our Creator and Maker by building up the kingdom of God. The plans we make for ourselves will always fail because they do not come from the Lord. Comparison drives a wedge between us and what God has so perfectly planned for our lives.
I will admit, I often find myself falling into the lies of this world. Believing that if I just had that one thing my life would be better or I would be seen as more beautiful. But I have to remind myself that true beauty cannot be found in the things of this world. Girls, you are so much more than your outward appearance. God doesn’t look on the outside, but on the inside. Be confident in knowing that you are a daughter of the King! A heart surrendered to God is more beautiful than anything you will find scrolling through Instagram.
If you want to compare yourselves to someone, let me introduce you to Jesus. God calls us to be imitators of Christ and to walk in love (1 Corinthians 11:1). God gave us a model of what it means to live for Christ. In everything that Jesus did, He gave the glory to God. He is the perfect example of goodness. So girls, do not waste your time comparing yourselves to faulty people. You were not made to be a copy, but you were uniquely made in the image of God. Instead of following the world, follow Jesus.
Meet Carly: I’ve known Carly for almost 9 years. The Lord’s work in her life is so evident. She’s a college student, working toward a degree in education. Carly loves working with children at her local church, Centrikid, and more. Carly has a heart for Jesus and doing ministry for his glory.