So Much Competes With God, But Nothing Compares

faith, God, trusting God, Christianity
Paula May

So much competes with God—the fast pace of this life, the temporary pleasures, the media, the vices, the distractions, the news.

Every single morning, we are flooded with images, words, thoughts, and ideas that try to pull us away from Him: messages on the television that only focus on the brokenness around us, celebrities living selfishly-focused lives, products that promise perfection, social media that encourages us to constantly compare compare compare.

We soak up images of people who seemingly have it all figured out—the great families, perfect bodies, happiness plastered to their faces with only a few touches of Photoshop. We scroll through social media and instantly feel as if we’re lacking in comparison to the parties, the lavish lifestyles, the material possessions that others have and we don’t.

It’s so hard, sometimes, to simply be a human, let alone a follower of faith. So hard to find appreciation for who you are and where you’re going when there’s so much around you that makes you feel as if you’ll never measure up.

There are people living lives filled with sin, with gluttony, with wildness and a total disregard for the promises of God—and yet, they appear, on the outside, to be perfectly fine. So you can’t help but wonder if you’re doing something wrong. (You aren’t.)

Everything competes with God. The taste of alcohol on our tongues. The temptation of drugs, or a life that’s filled with parties and excitement and being in the moment. The latest trends, the ‘ideal,’ or the ‘best life’ we’re encouraged to live. The social media standards of beauty, of love. The desire to be in control, to carve your own path and follow it.

All of this makes faith look like a hindrance, rather than a blessing. Like a set of restricting rules instead of a life far beyond what we could ever imagine.

But the truth is that God’s plan is far greater than the temporary satisfaction of this earth, far greater than the sips of alcohol, the fancy clothing, the bodies that only care about us for a period of time, the crazy parties that are over in the morning.

Following God is not something that leaves you riddled with self-doubt and comparison, constantly scrolling through your newsfeed to see what everyone else is doing, and trying to determine how you should feel in comparison.

Following God is not a competition, not a fleeting pleasure, not something that can negatively consume you and leave you empty, and still longing to be filled.

Following God is not about the things of this world, but about Him and His sacrifice. How He gave His Son so that nothing we face in this fleeting life would ever matter more than His infinite love for us.

He knew we would get caught up in our sin, our vices, our mistakes, and the temptation around us. He knew we would struggle and lose our way. He knew we were (and always will be) imperfect beings.

But we are His imperfect beings, His creations.

And so He gave us all that we could ever desire (and more) through His love—a promise that whatever we face in this life may compete temporarily, but will never compare to the passion and glory of devoting ourselves to Him.

So much of this life will try to distract us, try to pull us away from God’s truth. So much will look shiny, look perfect, look like what we truly want. But we can’t let ourselves be fooled.

Being a person of faith is about seeing the temporary nature of these desires, the emptiness in earthy pleasures and walking towards Him instead. Letting Him fill us, rather than what doesn’t last. Letting Him build beauty and strength within us, until we are no longer distracted by things that don’t matter—like Photoshopped images, like material things, like ‘perfection’ that doesn’t even exist.

So much competes with our Father’s love, but in the end, not a single thing compares.

His sacrifice, His passion, His devotion, His truth—in the end, that’s all we’ll ever need. TC mark

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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