Topic: Comparison Obsession [August 19, 2016]
Read: Matthew 20:1–16, Bible in a Year: Psalms 103–104; 1 Corinthians 2
Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous? Matthew 20:15
Thomas J. DeLong, a professor at Harvard Business School, has noted a disturbing trend among his students and colleagues—a “comparison obsession." He writes: “More so than ever before, . . . business executives, Wall Street analysts, lawyers, doctors, and other professionals are obsessed with comparing their own achievements against those of others. . . . This is bad for individuals and bad for companies. When you define success based on external rather than internal criteria, you diminish your satisfaction and commitment.”
Comparison obsession isn’t new. The Scriptures warn us of the dangers of comparing ourselves to others. When we do so, we become proud and look down on them (Luke 18:9–14). Or we become jealous and want to be like them or have what they have (James 4:1). We fail to focus on what God has given us to do. Jesus intimated that comparison obsession comes from believing that God is unfair and that He doesn’t have a right to be more generous to others than He is to us (Matt. 20:1–16).
By God’s grace we can learn to overcome comparison obsession by focusing on the life God has given to us. As we take moments to thank God for everyday blessings, we change our thinking and begin to believe deep down that God is good.
Prayer: I need a better focus, Lord. Help me to keep my eyes off others and instead on You and Your good heart for all of us.
This message was written by Marvin Williams [Our Daily Bread Ministries.]