“The grass is greener on the other side.”
No it ain’t.
We all compare ourselves to others. Don’t lie. We compare to those “better” off than us, and even those dealing with “worse” circumstances of life. The reason behind these comparisons might be different for each person, but the truth of the matter is that we all do it.
“That person is younger than me and is married with a great job and a house and 15 kids and they look so happy and I wish I were like them.”
“Ugh, they are out on their own doing so well with life and I am sitting here twiddling my thumbs with no earthly idea what my future looks like.”
“I’m so glad I am not in their position, I would hate to be stuck in the same cycle of destruction that they are in. I am way better off and it better stay that way.”
I could go on and on and on and on and on and on with examples and tell you countless stories of how these simple comparisons turned to envy and how that envy eventually led to destruction in one form or another…but that would take an obnoxious amount of time. Instead I will try to take a stab at why this happens and what we should do.
Comparison: estimate, measure, or note the similarity or dissimilarity between
Envy: a feeling of discontented or resentful longing for someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.
Contentment: a state of satisfaction
How? By recognizing that everything we have in life is provided by the creator of the universe, the one who gave His son for us.
“And my God will supply every NEED of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Everything we need will be provided for us because of his faithfulness throughout time. Our needs are priority (not what we want).
Contentment also comes when we choose to focus on Christ and how we can become more like Him.
Psalm 119:15-16; 24
“I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.”
“Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.”
Precepts: What God has appointed to be done; principle, command
Statutes: The laws God has laid down; regulation
Word: What God has spoken (The Bible)
Testimony: What God solemnly testifies to be His will; something with proof or evidence
What in the world does this have to do with comparing myself to others?
If your focus is solely on what God has commanded, the regulations he has given in his word, and the proof of his faithfulness through time, and most importantly by Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection… you will not have time to compare or envy what others have.
Psalm 18: 30
“This God-His way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him”
If the word of God says that His way is perfect, if I believe that His word is true, and if I have proof of His faithfulness in my own life, why wouldn’t I spend my time waiting for His perfect plan to manifest in due time?
If I believe He is sovereign and all-knowing and powerful why wouldn’t I stay, remain, abide in His word?
Do we really believe what we read about God in His word?
Do we delight in the Lord? Are we committed to Him?
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust Him and He will act.”
When you delight in who God is, commit yourself to become more like Him everyday, and trust His power and wisdom, your desires will align with His.
Once that happens you are free to live every day with purpose, and stop worrying about what you don’t have.
Brittany Shaw (pictured left) is a worship leader and member of Spotswood Baptist Church, and a recent Liberty University graduate. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2016. She spent her summer as a counselor at Word of Life Florida Youth Camp counseling students and staff. Check out her page, “Britt’s Lifelong Adventure: Remembering Where He Has Led Me”, for this blog and more!