Comparison is the enemy of joy.
We’ve heard the quote many times that’s often attributed to Theodore Roosevelt. (Remember when presidents were known for saying wholesome, helpful and strikingly moral things...) Comparison (especially in our culture) is a sneaky little thing…and it chokes the breath out of our everyday lives.
There’s only 1 of the 10 Commandments that REQUIRES a heart change. It’s #10: Don’t covet (yearn to have) your neighbor’s wife, house or anything else they might have.
All the other commandments are ones that have outward implications - ones that you can go through the motions, but not necessarily have the right heart posture. But envy, it takes root in our hearts and is able to go undetected by others while it slowly eats at our contentment.
It’s like God slapped on number 10 for good measure…right at the end…to cap off a list of what He wanted for His people to live their best lives.
Don’t covet what your neighbor has. Any of it.
I’m sure God knew that one day, we’d have social media - a never-ending scroll of our ‘neighbors’ high-light reels that give us a peek. A peek mostly limited to the envy-worthy parts of their lives. He knew we’d carry these reels in the palm of our hand - constantly tempted to open up our feed when facing more than 10 seconds of boredom.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it should have been to be thankful for everything we already have and less stressed about everything that we someday want.
I’ve had to do a number of envy checks lately - and I know I will do many, many more as the holidays approach.
It may require less social media & less online shopping and more time averting my eyes to things that are already RIGHT THERE in front of me. Whatever the case may be, it’s a step I have to take…because it’s not God that’s robbing me of my joy…it’s of my own doing.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.