“No lusting after your neighbor’s house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s.” – Ex 20:17 (MSG)
Have you ever felt as though in every attempt to do what is right someone or something comes swooping in to knock you off your feet? Do you look at society, co-workers, friends or acquaintances who seem to have all things going for them and you humanly wonder why your path appears to be the thimble nobody wants to get stuck with in monopoly?
This past week thoughts came to mind stemming from a discussion on the news of several people, and I mused “Wow…to be filled with such excitement of plans that seem to work out left and right. People feeling and sharing that excitement for you to almost mirror your own. That truly must be a joy-filled life.”
But during my musings God also placed upon my heart and showed me the flip-side. You know the side we never think about which is how another may view US and OUR set of circumstances. How another may view us as the “blessed” one or having it all. We seldom think when comparing ourselves that the same comparison we subject others to may in fact be filling another person’s mind about us and our unique path. That’s why to “ante up” and decide to play comparison game is one that is sure to have us crapping out.
If we’re really honest with ourselves someone, somewhere, at any given moment, may in fact be playing it and using our life as their game board. As we sit and wonder why our children misbehaved that day at school while other parents seemed to have such obedient kids there might be a woman who either knows us, or of us, who would give anything to have the privilege of talking to a little one that she either never had or lost. We forget when complaining about a 50 mile commute, to a job we think that should be better, the mother, or father, having to take 3 to 4 buses just to get to one of the 3 jobs they have in order to feed their families and provide a roof over their heads. But let’s not stop there and go deeper! I’m sure even the person with the 3 to 4 bus ride and 3 jobs in turn forgets about the parent who would give anything just to have 1 of the 3 jobs they have so that they can provide any food at all for their little ones mouths or being able to move off the streets.
When we feel or read this we sometimes then think “Where is God in all this? And if He’s here how is it that He allows such suffering?” We quickly forget that He made us to be here for one another, and not to be here to run comparisons, but instead to help lift one another up. Could He do it all? Of course! But what good parent does everything for their child only to let them in turn have children that they are unable and ill equip to help? Would we truly want a God who takes pleasure in handicapping us to the point where we are completely lacking in the ability to take care of not only ourselves but others?
He has made man in HIS image, and in doing so He made in HIS image so that we could learn eventually all that He knows and to do on some level all that He does. From the beginning it was His good pleasure to place this planet and all that is on it in our hands to learn, grow and become more and more like Him. It was only in our “comparing” did WE decide that the path laid out and promised to us was not what WE wanted but instead choose to play the field and compare what we knew for what we possibly did not know. But God’s plan for us isn’t the old “Let’s make a deal game” . We foolishly decided to play that game with the Host and Ruler of this world who knew that no matter what curtain we chose we would lose it all. But through God’s patience, love, and never-ending mercy He decided to take us back and redeem us to Himself through the ultimate sacrifice of His Son and our Lord Jesus Christ.
So the next time you, or I for that matter, decide to play The Comparison Game let’s instead put down the dice and pick up His richly given and undeserved grace that He freely gives to us…no strings or games attached.
Be Forever Blessed,
All scripture references are from biblegateway.com