Comparison Kills

Although I appreciate the style, you’ll hardly ever see me wear my hair in a ponytail. Why? These little guys. My ears.

In high school, my other insecurity was my height. I hit 5’9” at the age of 13 and my best friend peaked at 5’ 2”, so you can imagine the contrast. Not only that, but I was at least 6 inches taller than the guys I liked. I felt like an Amazon. And not in an appealing Wonder Woman kind of way.

I liked being around my brother because he was 6’4” and one of the few people that could make me feel normal. There are other areas I could discuss, for sadly, the list has grown. But, that’s not the point. The point is that comparison kills. It either inflates (pride) or deflates us. But either way, it wrecks our relationships. Envy is much the same. It’s just another step down the destructive road.

So, a distinction between jealousy and envy.

Jealousy fears losing something one already has, whereas envy is desiring something (success, possessions, relationships, appearance, etc.) that someone else has. Envy leads to coveting.

Envy destroys us and our relationships.

Prov. 14:30  A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

Ecc. 4:4  And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

I Cor. 3:3  You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?

James 4:11  Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.

*Envy tells us to focus on the here and now.

Life is short. Heaven is forever. Focus on the things that last: the souls of men.

 Ps. 37:1-3, “Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong;

 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.

 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

James 3:14-16 “But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.

 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”

2 Cor. 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Hebrews 11:26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.

*Envy tells us the lie that “life has to look a certain way for us to be happy and fulfilled.”

Acknowledge and confess your envious spirit. And then,

Find contentment in the LORD.

Ps. 143:8-9 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Rescue me from my enemies, LORD, for I hide myself in you.

Phil. 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

I Peter 2:9  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 4:7-11 The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Joni Eareckson Tada writes in Heaven: Your Real Home,

When a Christian realizes his citizenship is in heaven, he begins acting as a responsible citizen of earth. He invests wisely in relationships because he knows they’re eternal. His conversations, goals and motives become pure and honest because he realizes these will have a bearing on everlasting reward. …He gives generously of time, money, and talent because he’s laying up treasure for eternity. He spreads the good news of Christ because he longs to fill heaven’s ranks with his friends and neighbors. All this serves the pilgrim well not only in heaven, but on earth; for it serves everyone around him.

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