Comparison is a joy thief.
We start out happy for a friend buying a big house, and then a thought creeps in.
“Why do they get to move when I am stuck in this dump?”
Or a family member gets a fancy car.
“I work just as hard, so I deserve nice things too!”
That excitement for someone else’s life just came to a screeching halt. The joy was genuine, but now so is the indignation. Suddenly everyone else has the life we want. And we. Are. Ticked.
“Come on God. Am I invisible? Do You just love them more?” (OK maybe we won’t admit to being so juvenile, but we sure think this way!)
It has taken me until the middle of my thirties, but I am starting to see things differently. I see a God who loves me enough to give me what I need. I feel His eyes on me, working things out ahead of me. I will have or experience the things He prepares for me at the right time, and no sooner. I know I have it better than I deserve.
Did you get that? We have it better than we deserve. That’s the part we conveniently forget. If we are going to compare, we have to compare our lives to our neighbor AND to the poor. Sure we may not have extra bedrooms, but our children have beds. We have one or more cars while many kids have to walk miles a day to get clean water. Water. That stuff that comes out of our faucets, hot or cold.
We start to have tunnel vision and only see who has it better. The jealousy that emerges takes our joy and replaces it with bitterness. This is a self righteous anger that assumes a friend got what we deserve.
We don’t deserve better stuff when a mom is working 3 jobs to barely put food on the table. We don’t deserve brand name clothes when there are kids who don’t have jackets. They wait for the bus and shiver against the wind and snow.
God does not have to bless us any more than He already has. But you know what? He wants to. Despite our whining and complaining, He loves to pour out His blessings on us. How cool is that?
Maybe the next time we start looking to our left and right and what they have, we should stop. We should look up and thank God for all He has given us and will give us.
There is no comparing how much God loves us. We are all the same in that way. When we see it like this, the indignation fades away and the joy returns.
Linking with the Saturday Soiree.