THE COMPARISON TRAP WEEK ONE

Today begins week one of the COMPARISON TRAP. A 28-day devotional bible study for women. Are you joining in? I sure hope so. Details about how to be a part of this blogger lead, fabulous study is at the end of the post. Week one is full of nuggets of truth and solid wisdom about our bent to compare and out of envy, boastfulness and pride! And the best part of week one is God’s word and His way of avoiding those three sticky demons! 

I say that envy, boastfulness, and pride are “sticky” because our need to feel good about ourselves is so deeply rooted that it is a constant lifelong struggle.

And when we conquer one area of comparison another sneaks up. 

Thankfully, God does not just identify the sin of comparison in our lives, He shows us a way out of that pit of sin. 

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent and praiseworthy- think about such things. Philippians 4:8

This should be our Christian way of thinking! This is a way out of the pit of comparison! Filling our thought about everything that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent ad praiseworthy! 

Let’s look at these words in light of their translation to get a better picture of what God want us to think about!

TRUE…

This is such an interesting word! The Greek word for true is alethes. The “a” at the beginning of the word means NOT and the rest of the word means “unnoticed or concealed” In other words, it is something that cannot be hidden and is the ultimate truth because it has been tested and approved as truth.

Wow, in this day of relative truth alethes is like water to one’s soul, to know that there is an ultimate and undeniable truth. And it is that truth we are to think upon!

NOBLE…

The King James version of this verse says “honorable” instead of “noble”. But they are both ways of describing the Greek word semnos. Semnos is something weighty, something to be in awe of, something majestic, deep, grave!  It is the idea of thought that is not fluffy or without much thought.

I like to think noble things are things worth pondering and meditating on. 

RIGHT…

I must admit I love the word right or righteous. And I can readily see how it fits into what we are studying! It comes from the Greek word “dikaios”. It means right or judicially approved. This word and it’s true meaning deserves a whole book written about it and not just a few lines in a blog!

I’m studying the book of Romans now and righteousness is a big theme in this amazing book. Righteous means approved by God! It is the idea of standing and being right with God. How can we stand and face God in our own righteousness? We can’t. Righteousness comes only be the saving blood, the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Only a true believer can be right with God. 

The word of God says,  

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Isaiah 64:6

It is only when we exchange our filthy rags for Christ’s righteousness that we can be in right standing before God.

For our sakes, He (God) made Him (Jesus) to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in Him (Jesus) we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:12

This is known as The Great Exchange and is the very foundation of our faith! As righteous people shouldn’t we think about right, God approved things? We should no longer, because of what Christ did for us, be dragged away into sin by our thoughts. 

Celebrate our righteousness by thinking about right things!

PURE…

Pure is the Greek word “hagnos”. This word comes from the Greek word for holy. And the word holy means “set apart”. It’s the idea of being set apart from the whole for a specific job or purpose. For instance, God is holy. He is set apart from everything else he created. He is “other than”. And we, as Christians, are set apart by Jesus from the world. We, becuase of Jesus are “other than the world and its pattern of life. 

We are to be in the world but not of it.

Pure thoughts are not polluted by the sin of the world. They are chaste and undefiled. God is calling us to think about set apart, approved thing! Things that only God’s holy people would think about!

LOVELY…

Lovely is such an interesting Greek word! It is “prosphiles”. Pros means to lean towards something. To extend towards. Phileo is a word meaning to have affection for. Lovely is something that is worthy because it is acceptable and pleasing in a Godly sense. Thoughts that are lovely are thought worth our striving to embrace them for their great appealing worth.

ADMIRABLE…

Admirably comes from the Greek word “euphemos”.  “Eu” means well done. It is something that is good and right. “Pheme” is a word meaning to report or say.  So admirable means something that is well spoken of. Something of good report. 

I often think about missionaries and the saint gone home before us as examples to admire. The laudable reports about them is worthy to fill our thoughts.

EXCELLENT…

“Arete” is the Greek word for moral excellence. Certainly not what most of the world thinks the word excellent means. So let’s retrain our minds to understand that excellent has to do with moral perfection, virtue, and uprighteousness.

PRAISEWORTHY…

Praiseworthy is the Greek word “epainos”. It means something of praise! The “epi” ( the root word “ep” is taken from) is a tiny word that intensifies the rest of the word “anios”. And “anios” means to praise or to tell a story about the worth of God. So praiseworthy really means to intensely tell a story of God’s worth.

When I think of praiseworthy I think of all the scripture that tell just who God is and what He has done. I think about looking out at creation and being overwhelmed at its immense beauty and complexity and not being able to give it justice with my descriptions!

 

These are the things we are to think on. They should fill our thoughts and our words. They should invade and infuse our very hearts! 

How can we compare and spew forth envy, boastfulness, and pride when our hearts are being transformed by God-thoughts and God-words! 

Getting rid of comparison and all the various thoughts that go with it is a day by day, moment by moment transformation!

Romans 12:2 is one of my favorite scriptures…

Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- His good pleasing and perfect will!

Please join us for this amazing Bible Study on the Comparison Trap. It’s not too late to jump in! We have just started!

You can join a private Facebook group HERE. And get the devotional book HERE. And you can find the fabulous videos by Sandra and Andy Stanley HERE, HERE, or HERE.

And make sure to join us tonight (Sunday) on our facebook page at 9:00 Easter Standard Time. Beth from Unskinny Boppy is leading a Facebook live about the first week’s study!

I’ll be there too to answer any questions you post! See you there!

This week’s bible memorization verse…

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent and praiseworthy- think about such things. Philippians 4:8

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34 Comments

      1. I love how you are sharing your faith in this way on this site! Thank you for Godly example. I can hear the joy in your voice in the podcast. I listen to your podcast when I run and I’m laughing and learning at the same time. I’m currently getting slowly settled into a home 2600 square feet 5 bedrooms 3.5 bathrooms. I listen to your podcast and look at your website to be inspired. When I finish my home I will have to send you some pix of what episodes inspired my purchases. I love your links and the carpet, drapes/curtains, and lampshade episodes. Thank you for all your positive light!
        Megan

        1. Megan, I am thrilled that you are enjoying Decorating Tips and Tricks! And please, please send pictures! I’ll let Kelly and Anita know that you are enjoying DTT! Thanks for letting us know!

  1. Well done, Yvonne. Beautiful message for all of us. I will try to keep this in mind in my daily living and in dealing with others.
    God bless you.

    1. It is so hard! And only can be done through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I’m forever saying… Holy Spirit YOU sit on the throne of my life!

  2. This totally speaks to me. I struggle with this ALL the time!! I hate to admit that but it is true! I’m looking forward to this study. Thank you for the private facebook group that is such a great idea for this. Thank you for your Sunday posts, love them!!

    1. Julie, we all struggle with comparison to one degree or another. And if we don’t admit that we are probably being fooled! Thank you so much for your precious transparency!!!!
      I pray that all who are studying with us will be freed day by day from this trap! Hugs to you!

  3. I am currently dealing with a huge family conflict- however God is providing many scripture verses to meet my spiritual and emotional needs during this trying period in my life. Phil 4:8 speaks to my current circumstances.

  4. Such a great word, Thank you, I hope you be there also, except I’m having internet issues, it just means being more creative so I see how this plays out.
    Have an awesome day.

  5. Yvonne, you do such an excellent job breaking concepts down for us…thank you! You are so talented, I could see you being a wonderful teacher!

  6. Wow! I just finished reading a previous blog that you had already posted entitled, “How to Love Others Well During the Holiday” that is superb! I really like how you went a little farther with the scripture to memorize for the week. Just adding a little bit more really allowed me to understand the message so much more effectively! Essentially, you’ve already taught this lesson previously! ? I knew you had the ability to write when I suggested that you publish your cookbooks! Maybe you should consider developing a devotional for us!

  7. Yvonne I can’t tell you how much the Bible study today meant to me. I’m at a place where I’m being pushed physically, intellectually and emotionally. To be reminded of the direction needs to be pointed was exactly what I needed. As usual, Gods word spoke right to my heart in exactly the right places. Thank you for allowing God to use you to speak life and healing into the hurting places.

  8. I’m sooo glad to hear that you are a Christian Yvonne. I’ve been listening to your podcasts for 3 months. I’m enjoying it so much. We are a family 6 and love the Lord. How refreshing it is to read these posts. God is faithful!

  9. Thank you so much for breaking this down for us! What a blessing! Each and every day we can start anew! God will meet us right where we are! Blessed!

  10. Yvonne, I only recently found your blog and I enjoy it so very much. I wish I had discovered it sooner!!! I love your style and most of all am so grateful that you share your faith with us. It’s so refreshing to find a blog that shares my Christian beliefs and decorating/cooking styles as well.

    May God richly bless you and thank you again for bringing so much beauty and goodness into our lives.

  11. Thank you for this, I will be looking into it. Miss my fellowship time with the ladies. We have a couples group, but a women’s study has a different flavor.

  12. Thank you so much for this post. I just saw this today so I am obviously too late for the study. However, I love the explanation of this verse. God clearly spoke to me about something I was doing, that I am now going to eradicate from my life.

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