Do you ever wish you could be in someone else’s shoes, even if it is just for a day? To feel how wonderful, carefree, and glamorous their life is.
Or is it?
If we aren’t careful, social media can make us feel as though everyone else’s lives are more exciting than ours. We begin to compare our day-to-day struggles with their highlights, their adventures and their special moments. Regretting the situation we are struggling with, and wishing we could be on vacation in Hawaii right alongside them! The “grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side” syndrome.
Life is not always picture perfect. In fact, it very rarely is, right?
But God has a plan for your life. That plan includes highs and lows, mountains and valleys. We must learn to rely on Him and give thanks in all situations (1 Thess. 5:18). It’s in the lows of the valleys that I hear God’s voice the loudest. It’s also in the lows that I find myself longing to be in someone else’s shoes; to be out of the mess I’m in and retreat to the “perfect” life of others.
How do we guard ourselves of this downward spiral thinking though?
I have found these three things help protect my heart and bring peace back to my life:
- Refocus– I have to remember that my eyes should be on Jesus “the author and perfecter of my faith” (Heb. 12:2). When I look longingly at others, then my eyes have shifted off of Jesus, and my selfish desires come to the surface of my heart. When I have this shifted focus, He can’t talk to me. He can’t teach me what I need to learn. The result, I stay in my situation longer than I need to, because I haven’t learned the lesson He had been trying to teach me. I call to Him and He answers me, but if I long to be someone or someplace else, my focus is only on me. My gaze has shifted from seeking Him to trying to move on to greener pastures. Therefore I need to refocus my gaze to Jesus.
- Repent– When my focus has shifted, it’s because my heart has shifted first. My priorities have not been on Jesus and what He wants for my life. Asking God to forgive me is the first step into getting those priorities right. Asking Him to be Lord over your heart again is crucial to changing it!
- Rejoice– I must rejoice over the life He has given me! When I long for someone else’s life, I am telling God, “I don’t like the life You have given me.” Wow! Can you imagine saying that to His face? I need to thank God and rejoice in all circumstances and remember that every good and perfect gift comes from above (1 Thess. 5:18, James 1:17).
This third step helps with the first two. As I begin to thank God for His goodness in my life, I begin to see His hand of protection and love upon me, and it helps me stay focused on Him. He knows the plan, I don’t. I am reminded that I need to give Him control and step out of His way.
So the next time you find yourself looking longingly at someone’s post on Facebook, take a moment and Refocus, Repent, and Rejoice! This might just stop the “grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side” syndrome from spreading!