Okay so the title is a little bit of a cheap shot. I will be the first to admit you may very well be better at relationships than I am!
I did have a reason for using that title however. It was a not so subtle shot at the whole comparison thing we all do when it comes to relationships. In short, when we compare our relationships to others, we fail.
Theodore Roosevelt said, "comparison is the thief of joy". He was right in early 1900's and even more so today!
Instead of spending time on what other people are doing we are far better off spending time on the real people and real relationships we have in real time.
Social media can be a fun and helpful part of life. Social media can be a time waster, mental health damager, and produce loneliness. Don't roll your eyes just yet.
Scrolling through your favorite channels, it's hard to escape the relentless parade of picture-perfect relationships. Picture this: a couple gazing into each other's eyes against a breathtaking sunset, or a family grinning ear to ear on a beach that looks like it's been ripped straight from a travel magazine. It all seems so wonderful, right?
Here's the kicker – it includes an element of illusion, and I am not talking about the photo filters that make all of us look like a better version of ourselves.
When you look at a meticulously crafted highlight reel conveniently omitting the messy stuff it always tricks you into thinking this is what reality should be. Happy, great places, good times, and great people but it is just a snapshot, a moment in time.
Real relationships have their share of ups, downs, and awkward moments nobody wants to Instagram. Comparing your everyday reality to someone else's curated perfection is like comparing apples to AI oranges – it's just not fair.
As we scroll through these carefully chosen moments, it's easy to fall into the comparison trap. We start questioning our own relationships, wondering why our Friday nights aren't as glamorous, or why our spouse doesn't write love letters like the couples we see online. Before we know it, feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, and discouragement start to seep into our hearts.
I found myself mindlessly scrolling a while ago. I was in a season of life where not much had been going right and vacation felt needed but was far away. A friend posted some pics of an incredible trip to Europe, and suddenly, my Friday night watching re-runs and walking the dog felt a little tragic.
I asked him about the trip the next time I saw him. He said yeah that was from a few years ago. I was feeling a little stuck so I posted them again! Yeah, it was real but it wasn’t what I thought and I started questioning my situation for no reason.
The problem isn't social media itself – it's when we set unrealistic standards for our relationships. We're all navigating the complexities of life, love, and laundry, and it's time to acknowledge the messiness is what makes your story special.
The Bible talks about the real stuff – the struggles, the triumphs, and the beauty in imperfection.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
Translation: don't let the world's patterns, reels, and pics dictate the worth of your relationships. God is calling you to something so much more than a just a beautiful sunset or great beach day (though He includes those too!!)
God will transform your thinking. By the way, unless you want the life people who are far from God are living, why would you want to think the way they think anyway? You have a new life and new way of thinking!
Hope is a vital part of transformed thinking. Hope is the antidote to the poison of comparison culture. Instead of allowing social media to dictate the rhythm of our relationships, turn to the Bible for a little guidance on embracing imperfection.
Remember the story of David and Bathsheba? It's not exactly a romcom; it's more of a tragedy. From a tangled web of deceit and brokenness, redemption emerged. David found forgiveness and restoration. A few generations down the line, Jesus enters the world a descendant of David and Bathsheba. It's a testament to the fact any relationship can be reborn from the ashes of mistakes and imperfections.
An imperfect relationship is normal. An imperfect relationship has room for God to do the incredible.
How about a better way? It starts with fostering real, authentic connections – both with ourselves and others. Embrace the messy, celebrate the ordinary, and find joy in simple moments that don't make it to the 'Gram.
Remember that viral post about the couple who laughed their way through a burnt dinner, turning it into a cherished memory? That's the stuff real relationships are made of. It's not about the grand gestures; it's about the shared laughter, tears, and the quiet moments that unfold when nobody is watching.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17
Real relationships weather the storms. They don't shy away from the messy bits; they embrace them, knowing that adversity is just another chapter in the story.
I’m in no way pretending I've got it all figured out. I'm right here in the middle with you, navigating the twists and turns. I simply know we have to approach our relationships with the authenticity they deserve. And even more importantly, with the renewed mind and transformed heart God gives us when we follow Jesus.
Embrace your unique stories. Recognize real connection is messy and imperfect.
I would much rather have real thing that doesn’t always look right, than settle for something that looks right but doesn’t work.
Comparison is lonely and self-defeating. Loving God with all you have and loving your neighbor as yourself is where the best realtionships are found.
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