Once in a while, our very limited perspective in life exposes our covetous view of other people’s lives. Our neighbours with the most enviable house on the block seemed to be living the dream life but what we didn’t know was that they recently run into debt. We knew our choir director wasn’t perfect but we never guessed that he had a secret addiction. We were thinking our favourite couple had it all together. We had no idea that their marriage was in turbulence just as much as ours.
That woman is so blessed, she just had another baby but what we didn’t know was that her husband wasn’t quite ready for the added responsibility. I mean I recently got a car and I probably look good driving it but what you don’t know is that I don’t like the financial responsibility that comes with it. The examples could go on and on but no matter which way you look at it, sooner or later we all discover that no one has it all figured out. Everyone somehow, is trying to work it out.
This, is in no way saying that we should find comfort in the somewhat broken places we find ourselves. In fact if you did, you’d only be setting yourself up for mediocrity. The real message though, is that before we try to out-do the next person on the block or complain about what seems to be lacking in our lives, we first, should have found a solid degree of contentment in our present state. Every next level we seek to attain requires more growth and discipline and it is only with time that we discover that comparing our lives with others only leaves us a little discontented with our ENTIRE life. This makes sense why Paul says in Philippians 4:12-14 (MSG)
“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.”
Before you get it twisted ‘Paul wasn’t poor. He could afford to travel extensively with companions throughout his life. Travel in Paul’s world was not cheap. Travelers typically traveled in a company, taking with them food, clothing, and supplies, as well as feed for their livestock’.
Building a habit of content and constant gratitude does not suggest the absence of a desire to do better but rather sets the right tone for the next level.Comparing your life with others will only leave you dissatisfied with your achievements when truly, no one has got it all figured out in the first place, irrespective of social or financial status.
Let your next level truly be inspired by an inward desire looking out and not an outward desire looking (at the lack) within. So, before you ask the Lord to bless your next move or where you want go next, be thankful for your current season and be faithful to it. In fact, the success of your current season is what propels you to your next.