Dr. Randy Carlson
As we continue with part 2 of our blog – Escaping the Comparison Trap – and discussing this thing of fairness, remember it’s not a profound thought that life isn’t fair. We all know that, but we often seem to expect it to be or wish it were.
Let’s continue with the final three practical things to do to escape the trap of wanting to compare yourself with others:
- Rejoice when others succeed.
This is a tough one sometimes. It’s easier to weep when people are failing, but when people are successful – people in our family, people we compare ourselves with – that can be disconcerting or difficult. But it’s important to be able to rejoice when others succeed.
John 10:10 says the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. Think about the story of Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 37). Joseph had a dream and when he shared it with his brothers, it says
“his brothers envied him” (v. 11). They were comparing themselves to their younger brother and didn’t think things were fair. They said, “You got this dream from God. God didn’t give us the dream.” They took matters into their own hands. One brother even wanted to kill him, but instead they threw him into a pit and later sold him into slavery.
Refusing to rejoice when others succeed and comparing ourselves to one another damages relationships severely. We’ve got a biblical example of a relationship that was severely damaged based on what didn’t appear fair.
- Don’t keep score.
There’s always going to be someone ahead of us. There is always someone on the ladder. Someone will always be just a little quicker, faster, smarter, younger, more handsome or a whole pile of other descriptors.
1st Corinthians 13:4-6 says, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out” (NLT). Real love doesn’t keep score. I think recordkeeping in relationships creates a problem.
When we spend our lives trying to get up to that next wrung on the ladder, we sometimes push other people out of the way, and we miss the fact that we’re keeping score.
- Make life a little bit fairer for someone.
Some people just need a hand. Every day we can reach out and bring one person up a little bit. We can offer a little more justice in our world to make life a little fairer for someone. We can reach down on the ladder and help someone up that’s below. We can all do that at any level. That’s why mentoring, teaching and being available to help others is so important.
Life isn’t fair, but as Christians, we can make sure we share the gospel so others can see that fairness isn’t the goal. The goal is to be restored in relationship with the Creator of the universe. He is the ultimate justice keeper and we want to have the right relationship with Him.
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