Living Free of Holiday Envy

Sharon JaynesChristmas Inspiration, Enough, Living Free, Living Fully 69 Comments

I was checking out my Facebook posts and feeling a little bit left out. It seemed everyone was having a big ole time with family and friends, and well, I wasn’t. It was the holiday season and it appeared all the family gatherings were picture perfect…and mine wasn’t.

Pinterest postings of perfect sausage pinwheels. Facebook pics of glittery table setting with Christmas China and matching napkins. Instagram reels of happy families decorating a freshly cut tree. A passel of grandparents, parents, and kiddos dressed in matching Christmas pajamas. And you’re thinking, good for them, kindda.

And don’t get me started on Christmas letters—highlight reels that don’t show the part of the story left on the cutting room floor for no one to see.

Social media accentuates the culture of comparison by sending the false message that your monotonous tedious boring existence is a poor excuse for living compared to others whose lives are awesomely exciting all the time.

Social media breeds instant comparison at the click of a button. Comparing who has more “Facebook friends,” “re-tweets,” “followers” and “re-pins” is maddening. The age-old comparisons of appearance, accomplishments, possessions, and position are still around. Technology has simply magnified the access to other people’s lives, even though you’re only seeing what others want you to see. And I’m not talking about just the holidays, but the every days.

Comparison is the devil’s tool that he uses to undermine our confidence and kill our contentment like nothing ever will. It magnifies insecurities and fosters a self-absorbed pre-occupation of our inadequacies.

Comparison sullies the canvas upon which God longs to display His greatest work. Nothing will rob you of your confidence in Christ like comparison. The measuring stick will get you stuck every time.

I love what Jesus said when Peter asked about John’s future. (Yes, he was comparing his future with John’s) “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:22) In other words, “It’s none of your business! Stop comparing!”

I also love what Paul told the Galatians: “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else” (Galatians 6:4 NLT). In other words, do your best and don’t worry about what someone else is doing or not doing.

So, this Christmas season, resist the tendency to compare your holiday celebration to what you see of others’. They’re a mess just like you are…like I am. 

Heavenly Father, help me not to compare my holiday celebration with others’. Christmas is not about the glitter but Your glory, not the parties but the Person of Jesus, not the presents but Your presence. Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Let’s make a promise to each other right now. If you’re willing, leave a comment and say, “This holiday season I will live in a comparison-free and envy-free zone.”

Digging Deeper

Enough by Sharon Jaynes

Do the voices in your head tell you that you are not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or just notenough, period? If so, it’s time to stop listening to the lies that sabotage your confidence and replace them with truth. Check out my book, Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence and start believing the truth about who God says you are.

Also, check out my FREE Quick Reference Guide to 70 common lies and the truth that replaces them.










© 2023 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

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Comments 69

  1. Oh I needed to hear this today. Social media makes things hard – so hard. The comparison trap is a slimy pit that is so easy to fall in. Thank. you for the reminder today. It was timely.

  2. Sharon, thank you for this timely devotional about not comparing. I loved this line “They’re a mess just like you are…like I am”. I do catch myself comparing my family to one of my facebook friends. Which is totally unrealistic, I have two children and she has ten. Her house always seems to be filled with family. Mine seems pretty empty.

    This holiday season I will live in a comparison-free and envy-free zone.

  3. Wow! 🤞
    This is a very timely message
    I am truly blessed
    No comparisons this festive season for me!
    You do you and I do me !
    Thank you

  4. Amen, Sharon! As we read in John 14, Jesus told His disciples that He is enough! If we have everything in the world except Jesus-we have nothing! Yet if we have nothing of this world’s goods and have Jesus-we have everything we need…He is more than enough to satisfy our hearts!

  5. I am off of Facebook. After many years of sharing, posting, and thumbing thru Facebook God brought to me a revelation that relationships grow better one on one. It does take more effort to reach out to my friends and family individually… pick up the phone to call them, write or send cards – or initiate coffee or dinner together. But it is more authentic and I am not spending time looking at someone else’s life, I am spending time creating the life God has planned for me. It isn’t easy at first … but I also have removed a lot of clutter in my mind that I don’t have to hold.

    1. Me too Karen! I am celebrating one year completely free of Facebook. I have so much more peace and contentment. It is challenging and I do miss out on a few announcements now and then but the deeper one-on-one connections I am making are so worth it!

    2. I Love it!!! You are absolutely right We set ourselves up for failure when we are looking at other people on facebook ,You tube ect. I am praying right now for God to continue to Bless You because You are obeying the path God has planned for You and that means making more time to spend with him. I agree it is not easy! Love You Sis

    3. Karen – thank you for your words. So true! I try to only use FB for inspirational posts like Proverbs 31, Jill Savage, Joyce Meyer, etc, but other posts pop up that fuel the comparison trap.

  6. I enjoy these devotionals very much and I know this is a minor thing. But it’s a little frustrating to start reading and then you have to “read more” and it goes to a different page and you have to scroll down to find the place where you were reading. Can’t you just put the whole thing on the first page? Sorry for whining…😊

    1. Today I decided to scroll down in the email and click to read more before I began reading, because this was bothering me too! 🙂

  7. This devotional was so timely for me, Sharon. I had already committed to not being on FB during advent–one less thing to distract me from the true meaning of Christmas. Your devotional only solidifies why I should. God bless you and Merry Christmas!

  8. Absolutely love, and am so excited everytime I see your devotionals. Thank you. You Blessed my heart, encouraged, and challenged my heart in more ways then you can know. Thank you, Moni

  9. God is not done with me yet! He knows the plans for me. So this year, I pray I can let go of comparisons and let God. I will be far from perfect but I have plans that only Jesus Christ the Savior, Wonderful Counselor, Immanuel, Lord of lords and King of kings has planned for me and only me!
    Thank you Sharon for your beautiful reminder that it isn’t about the presents but His presence. May you be blessed today and everyday.

  10. “This holiday season I will live in a comparison-free and envy-free zone.”

    Because God IS More than Enough for me!
    I don’t need to compare myself to others; I just need to try to be more like Jesus!

  11. I will do my best to live in a comparison and envy free holiday season this year. I will do my own thing with decorating with what I have and not buy to try and out do or compare with anyone else.
    As we all know we make this promise with well intentions. Wishing we had a button somewhere we could push everyday to keep our promise. Just like our feelings, we say we are not going to let things bother us or hurt our feelings and it just happens. Please pray for me as I get weak at times and then I bounce back.

  12. I struggle with contentment and fall into the comparison trap.
    This holiday season I want to focus on Jesus and the many blessings I have through Him!

  13. Goooodddd Morning!!!!
    Thank you so much for this reminder Sharon! God has been soooo good to me, even though I might have lost a few things I promise to have pure holiday cheer and to not compare myself to anyone in Jesus name Amen!

  14. “This holiday season I will live in a comparison-free and envy-free zone.” What a great reminder for us for the holiday season. This came at the perfect time.

  15. Sharon as always, thank you for your words of encouragement.
    A little over 9 years ago I got off & closed my FB page. A little over 2 years ago I turned my TV OFF and got rid of it. My life has changed for the better!! Love you Ladies & God loves you ✝️🙏❤️

    Pray everyone has a joy filled holiday!

  16. This holiday season I will live in a comparison free, and envy free zone….continuing to hold these values with me all through the years. Thank you ! Amen🙏

  17. This holiday season I will live a comparison free, envy free zone!

    I needed this devotional. My youngest tells me often that we only see half of the story on social media! Thank you for this reminder.

  18. Oh how tis is do true. Very helpful to me. I don’t do social media but I do see pretty pictures of pretty things to decorate with.. when I enter a store and see how commercialized it is it’s too overwhelming for me. It does not take long for me to get out. This year this Holiday Season and all others after I will live in a comparison free and envy free zone. Thank you so much Sharon for this devotion.

  19. I have never, or will I ever, creat a Facebook, X, snapshot, or any other online ‘nosey group chat’. It’s no one’s business. I am the salt of the earth, and the light of God. That’s all they’re getting– in person! We must be the walking Word of God. I’m at peace.

    This holiday season I will live in a comparison-free and envy-free zone.”

  20. Getting my holiday cheer back has been difficult since losing my mom as the holidays are no longer the same for me. Yet you are so right Sharon, it’s about the presence of Jesus not the presents under the tree. This holiday season, I will live comparison free and w/o envy of others. Instead, I’ll do my best to count my blessings and be grateful in Jesus mighty and matchless name, Amen.

  21. Thank you for your book “Enough “. I read it during a time when I needed to know that God loves me unconditionally, created me, and understands me as I am, And never leaves me. Thank you for being so authentic and vulnerable.

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  22. Gave up Instagram about 1 yr ago and it has been the BEST! Now I am appreciating each REAL moment, even the boring ones. I have less to nothing of anxiety.

    Definitely doing a comparison-free holidays. Thank you

  23. Thanks for the reminder. I will remember what Christmas is about. It is HIM and His presence, not the presents or the “stuff”.

  24. Yes, with your help, Lord Jesus, I will live in a comparison free zone…only reveling in your Presence. Please remove the stress to feel under pressure this season…stress-free. Amen

    1. This hit home for me. I grew up with all the extended family gatherings for holidays and it was a magical time in my life. Now I have my own family with 4 kids and we have not a single other relative anywhere nearby. Most of our family now is scattered across the US. My kids have no grandparents nearby and no cousins at all. It make me so very sad to think of what they are missing. Seeing pictures of other families on social media causes me to burst into tears sometimes. Social media is a terrible comparison trap and I’ve had to cut it out of my life. It’s hard to not compare, but focusing on the good and being grateful for all God has done in our lives helps ease the grief and envy that pops up. This season with Gods helps I will live a comparison and envy free zone.

  25. Thank you for this reminder that I need daily – like every time I open up social media! I want to accept the challenge to be comparison-free and envy-free especially during this Christmas season. It will be hard, but so worth it mentally and spiritually!! Let’s pray for each other to hold up to this challenge.

  26. December 4, 2023 At 1:42 pm

    God is our maker he made us individuals I don’t make Comparison my niece loves to make
    Comparison I told her its not a nice thing to do My holiday is free from all Social media I pray to
    God will help me to keep it that way

  27. Thank you again Sharon for this message,

    We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and our individuality of unique offerings sets are light and talents apart. When we relieve ourselves from comparison, this opens room to our inner joy to shine forth. We each have talents to share, we just need to find our own, not get misguided by others. We are here to celebrate everybody’s wins!,
    We are so blessed!

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