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Thursday, January 26, 2017

JOY Thursday

I am so happy that I started 2017 with this Bible study. I mean, with EVERYTHING that's been going on, I needed to delve deeper into what the Bible says about JOY, and I have been so very challenged every single day.
I know after I shared my struggles that so many people reached out on Facebook & in emails & texts, so I wanted to share how God has been using Fight Back With Joy from Margaret Feinberg to just help me out so much.
Week 2 Session 4 was a smack-ya-in-the-face kind of lesson, and I knew I had to share!

Push Back Joy Robbers

"The distorted lens of social media amplifies the temptation to draw comparisons. When practicing Christian women compare themselves to their friends through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, they are 11 times more likely to say their friends have more status and privilege and 10 times more likely to say others are more creative. They are also more likely to believe others have a better career and a superior ability to accomplish tasks."
-Barna Group Research
Am I the only one who falls into the social media trap of comparison that Satan sets for us?! I absolutely HATE this about myself. I know that it's because of the hurt I've experienced with my marriage and my friendships that I easily fall into the trap of comparing my life to other's controlled internet content!
Even though my brain tells me that they aren't sharing the whole story or that they are over-playing their situation because of their own insecurities, my heart just doesn't compute that all the time...especially when I'm in a negative headspace.
Margaret wants us to be able to detect those Joy Robbers in our lives, and social media is a major one for me. She doesn't just help us recognize those robbers, but she also gives us "three ways to fight back against the comparison trap:
  1. Thank God that He made you unique with particular skills and talents.
  2. Build the other person up by looking for every opportunity to celebrate his or her God-given gifts and blessings.
  3. Be grateful for the diversity found among God's creation. Everyone is uniquely gifted to introduce others to Christ and bring God glory."
This quote is everything!
Margaret says, "Instead of weighing myself on the world's scale, I allowed the truth of my identity in God to saturate and sustain me."
I'm working at when I feel as though I'm falling into that dang comparison trap to remember that God called me to be His, first. Then I remind myself of how small that cropped Instagram square is, and that what people post isn't always the full picture.
I'm hoping that you'll be encouraged to know that so many of us struggle with the social media comparison game, and none of us are proud of it. I don't have this down yet, but I'm working hard at it! 
Lord, I pray right now for that woman, mama, wife that is struggling today with her own identity in You. The world tells her who she should be in every area of life, and social media just magnifies our short-comings. Lord, in You, however, we are loved, wanted, and enough. Shut down the urge to compare ourselves to others, and Lord, erase our insecurities. May You alone receive the glory for it is in our weakness and our flaws that Your strength is seen. Be glorified.
-Choose JOY-