The Pitfall of Comparison
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people "Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land." (Ex 1:8-10 NKJV)
How do you react when you hear of a friends' or maybe even a competitors' (another organization - business, church, etc.) success? Do you react with genuine happiness or is there a twinge deep inside you that wonders "Why not me?". I think that sometimes hearing about anothers' success is harder to honestly deal with than hearing about someone's failures because our pride often gets in the way of honest celebration. The more content we are in our own circumstances and who God made us to be, the easier it is to truly rejoice with someone else.
The human races has been struggling with jealousy since the beginning of time. While I won't go back that far, I do want to explore the situation early in the nation of Israel's existence which I have referenced in the above passage. The children of Israel had been living in Egypt, tending to their animals and working for the Egyptians. I don't see in the bible that there was any evidence of any uprising on their parts in wanting to eventually rule over the Egyptians. However, the new king over Egypt seemed to fear the Israelites and subsequently tried to suppress them. I wonder why he couldn't just "live and let live" and take advantage of a godly people living in his midst. Had he been able to do that, a lot of future suffering would have been avoided. Hard telling how successful everyone could have been.
From Learning to Living...
1) How have you reacted lately to the success of someone around you?
2) If your reaction to the above had a hint of "Why not me?", do you know why?
Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them. For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.