Envy, the Comparison Game

3

July 9, 2017 by James Lindquist

He always wanted to write as far back as he could remember. He attended a writing school and learned how to write right. He learned from the best that the craft had to offer. Schooling demanded three years of his life and nearly $4000 in tuition. However, it was worth the expense and the time spent with lessons and study times. It was worth it because he was doing what he always wanted to do. . .to write, to be an author, and to help his brothers and sisters in the Lord.

He took another two plus years to write a book and applying all that he’d learned in school. To catch any mistakes in his MS [1] he hired an editor to critique his project. After he corrected the errors in his MS, he sent it back to the editor to reevaluate his corrections. Both edits cost him another $1100 and two or three more weeks of revisions.

His next project was a Website and advertising. Since then and after nine years, he had sold only two copies. Although he was disappointed, at least two people had read his self-help book. Prayerfully it had helped them in their life. He was disheartened, however, when he read a testimony of another Christian author who had sold quite a few million copies and had not spent even one minute in the classroom.

Our ‘two copy’ author felt happy for the ‘million plus copy’ author but questioned the Lord on the why and fairness. He called on the Lord, “Lord, I know you called me to write for you and that you even mandated my book. I know you were there for every word that I wrote because I could feel your presence and guidance. Why then Lord, I’ve worked very hard for you and I’ve done everything you’ve asked of me?

Envy had reared its ugly head. My confession to you is that the ‘two copy’ author in question is yours truly. How many of us play that deadly game of comparing ourselves to others? All of us are envious or jealous at least one time in our life. I’m bold enough to say that we all play the comparison game. Maybe some more than others. I’d like to think that I wasn’t envious, but only discouraged. Isn’t it funny how we can easily justify not only ourselves but our actions with rationalization(s) ?

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones [Proverbs 14:30 NIV].

In my prayer, I’d questioned my calling and had considered whether I should continue in my writing or not. Had the Lord pulled my calling? Did I fail Him as well? The Lord answered me quickly with three questions of His own, “Are you quitting on me? Do you doubt me? Are you rejecting what I gave you?” At that very moment, I answered the Lord, “Please forgive me Lord, I do not doubt you, but I doubt myself. I do not want to fail you as well. I will not quit until I specifically hear from you. Thank you for your calling Lord, to have a part in your Kingdom, and for the mandates that you gave me.

Rejection has visited my life to a some extent, but thanks to some prayer time, I’ve learned that I was looking at it all wrong. I think that I’m a pretty positive person but let me tell you that unrequited love sucks. Rejection sucks. Zero accolades suck. Emotional abuse sucks. Failure sucks. Unfair situations suck. Feeling inferior sucks. Comparing myself to others sucks. Being compared by others sucks. What is it in your life that sucks and makes you feel inferior, or a failure that compels you to compare yourself to someone else who seems to have the King Midas touch or has it all with little or no effort?

Yes, I was looking at it all wrong. I had a lot of rejection in my life but I also had a lot of acceptance in my life. I have a Lord that loves me unconditionally; I have a place in the mightiest kingdom on Earth, I had a wife once that loved me for at least 42 years, I have four fantastic kids who love me, I have many friends who love me, I have six beautiful grand kids and seven beautiful great grand kids. From now on, I plan on seeking memories of acceptance and nothing else.

Like myself, God has a plan for you [2]. Be patient [3]. A person will find what they are looking for. I have no time left to seek negativity and memories of rejection. Thank you Jesus.

However, PTL, there is a way out of the bondage’s of envy, jealousy, and comparison. The first step is to confess it to the Lord. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth [4]. The next thing is to quit the comparison game. Do you remember when Peter fretted over John’s place in Christ’s ministry, and asked Him, “. . .What about him?” Then Jesus answered Peter and said, “. . .what is that to you? You must follow me. [5]” The Lord calls us ALL individually, so therefore, we must ALL follow Him individually (with NO comparisons), and leave the other folks to Him. Last, but certainly not least, lean on the Lord. Focus on Him. Follow Him, and Seek Him. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always [6].

And my Favorite Verse:

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths [Proverbs 3:5, 6 KJV].

Now I am still a little discouraged but I am resolved not to compare myself to anyone else ever again. I promised the Lord that I will do my best to make no more comparisons with anyone. Whenever I have a problem, I go to God’s Word. He has NEVER disappointed me with an answer. He’s always comes through for me. Trust in Him and be patient. Christ is not a respecter of person [7].
____________________________

[1] MS manuscript, MSS manuscripts
[2] Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
[3] 1 Corinthians 13:4
[4] James 3:14 NIV
[5] John 21:21b, 22b NIV
[6] 1 Chronicles 16:11 NIV
[7] Acts 10:34

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3 thoughts on “Envy, the Comparison Game

  1. Barbara Mooney Wilson says:

    Great blog !!! This hit home for me because sometimes I think of all the family members and friends whom still have their spouses and their kids and I start to question why I have lost so much .. I know in my heart that the Lord has his reasons and we aren’t suppose to question the why … I love my family and friends and I wouldn’t want them to face what I have been through .. I just have to lean on the Lord and trust Him .. I know he loves me and he will never forsake me .. Thanks for your message .. It made me do some thinking and then thanking God for the family that I still have .. God Bless you …

    Like

    • Thanks so much for stopping by Barbara. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance to you and give you peace.

      Like

  2. Jim says:

    As always thanks a million for the read. I enjoy reading your work

    Like

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