1. You’ve been watching their Photoshopped highlight reel.
What do filters, Photoshop, and mind altering drugs all have in common? They all make you see things that don’t actually exist. Studies done by researchers in the UK, University of Michigan, and two Universities in Germany have shown that the flood of images of people in their best poses, outfits, and moments have made viewers of these celebrated moments feel more and more insecure about who they are and what they have. The problem with the internet and social media is that they are not an accurate reflection of reality. Many people are jumping at the chance to post about the launch of their new business, but not as many people are busting down the door in order to post about the same business being in the red for six months in a row. Jesus taught us that things are not always the way they appear (Matt. 23:27). We shouldn’t forget His wisdom. The Word lets us know that Satan can be transformed into an angel of light and the Pharisees appeared to be all clean on the outside but on the inside, they were stinky and nasty which is my way of saying, “full of dead men’s bones.”
2. Crime does pay.
Yes, that is not a typo. Technically, crime does pay. In all likelihood, many white collar criminals got a large deposit into their bank accounts today. Many drug dealers bought a nice new toy that they likely will enjoy for at least a couple more months. Some of the people we see on television, video, or even at our jobs are breaking the rules and maybe even the law in order to get the things they have. And despite all the adages and catchy expressions, we have to warn people of a life of crime; in reality, crimes does pay...for a little while. Then you have to pay it back. 1 Timothy 5:24 states, "some people’s sins are evident, going before them to judgement, but sins of others follow them". Some seem to get away with more, longer, but don’t let the delay of their consequence entice you to join them.
3. You’re not playing their game. (Heb. 12:8)
I don’t know if you remember or not, but Michael Jordan made a terrible baseball player. It was not his game. Sometimes people that you think are doing so much better than you are not even playing the same “game” as you are. It’s hard to compare Lebron James to Muhammed Ali. The same can be said for trying to compare a dedicated school teacher to an opportunistic entrepreneur. Furthermore, God’s children and the world’s children live by two sets of rules. That is a fact you don’t want to lose sight of.
4. You live in Alaska, but they live in Florida. (Eccl. 1:9)
Vacation photos of Florida look like heaven if you just got snowed in by the second blizzard of winter. We all wish we were in a harvest season all the time but that is not the way things work. There has to be a season of labor and discipline if there will ever be a season to bask in the sun rays that follows. Sometimes people are looking too hard at people that are in their “suntan season”. If that is you, I have some advice: “keep your eyes forward on the work you have before you!” Your time will come.
5. It’s time for you to get off of the skates. (Phil. 3:14)
The road to heaven is a steep incline upward, which means skates are probably not the best footwear for this journey. A lot of people just have not taken off the skates, so consequently they are in a never ending cycle of backslides. Skates can be fun at times, but you are much more likely to fall with them than without them. Sometimes people look like they are doing better than you because they are not spending as much time as you going in reverse. Get serious about the journey God has you on. Take off your skates and stop backsliding.
6. You don’t know who you are.
When you play Monopoly, the first order on the agenda is to select your token. You need to know who you are if you are ever going to win. A lot of times people are so impressed with others because they are not impressed enough with themselves; but, they would be if they could see themselves the way God sees them. There is a lot that can be said about knowing your worth. People are not doing better, but since you are either unaware or discontent with your identity, everyone other than you appears to have an advantage. 1 Timothy 6:6 teaches us that godliness accompanied by contentment brings forth great gain. Pursue god-likeness, contentment and gain will soon follow.
7. They’ve put in the work, but it’s not too late for you. (Gal. 6:7)
Good ole fashion hard work still has its rewards. If someone actually is further along in fulfilling their purpose in his life than you are it should incite motivation in you, not envy or self-condemnation. All it takes is a little hard work and dedication and you can be soon doing the same.
8. Why are you always judging? (2 Cor. 10:12)
The comparisons have to stop. The variables are endless because every person is unique. Be the best you! God and the world will thank you for it! And when you look around you’ll realize nobody could ever beat you at being YOU!
9. You just found out Idi Amin can be found in your family tree.
Bad news travels fast and it can make you sink fast too. Getting bad news has a way of tempting you to sink into a dark corner of despair. From that vantage point, everybody appears to be doing better than you, but your current state is not a summary of your entire life. The truth is, this too shall pass! My pastor and good friend always say “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do”. (Psalms 30:5)
10. You have not been praying! (Heb. 12:1-2)
Prayer changes things but it also changes you. God is always attempting to refine us; that, in turn, can lead us to mature in Him. Daily conversations with Him are an irreplaceable practice that helps us to successfully progress through the path He has us on. Many times people have so much time to look at others because they are not busy enough looking at Jesus!
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