Friday, 27 September 2013

No Win In Comparison

“Then I saw yet another thing: envy fuels achievement. All the work and skills people develop come from their desire to be better than their neighbors. Even this is fleeting, like trying to embrace the wind.”  Ecclesiastes 4:4

As I write this blog I am struck by what an odd lot we humans are.  Many of us are blessed beyond anything we deserve yet we find a way to be discontent.  The wisest man in the world, Solomon, recognized that we humans have a knack for comparing ourselves with others.  The end result of comparing ourselves is that we either feel inferior or superior.  This is particularly true for those of us who live in the west.

Andy Stanley’s three part series entitled “Comparison” articulates this plight extremely well.  For most of us it started in school.  We looked around to determine whether we were smarter, cuter, or better in some way.  Once afflicted by this insidious malady it only gets worse.  We begin to compare everything from the clothes we wear to the person we are dating to who passed their driver’s test first.  Then it was who got invited to the prom by whom, who got into the college of their choice and was it a prestigious university?  Whose wedding was the most elaborate, who bought their first home, who had the cutest and most well behaved children.  I could go on indefinitely but I’ll spare you. 

Sadly for too many of us our happiness is dependent upon how we stack up.  What or who are we going to use as a reference point to determine if we are okay?  Solomon’s point is this is futile, it is like chasing after the wind.  We can never catch the wind and we will never be content if we continue to compare ourselves to others.

The Apostle Paul sums it up very well in Philippians, chapter 4, verse11.

“Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” The Message

Let’s connect the dots, after all this is a marriage blog.  All too often we compare our husbands or wives with our neighbors, with what we see in the movies or on TV, or at the very least with our pre-conceived notions of what marriage would be like.  This is absolutely chasing after the wind.  Thank God for the person that He has brought into your life.

1 comment:

  1. The Comparison Trap is a great series...we actually used the intro at a MOPS meeting. We have to get it through our heads that "normal" is a setting on a washing machine...and nothing more. Good post, Ron! :)

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