Pastor Mike's thoughts

Thoughts on today's Christian world and how it fits into secular society.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Comparison shopping

Do you ever struggle with envy? Envy can germinate in our souls when we decide to plant the seeds of comparison. It all starts with a long look at what someone else has achieved or received. We compare what we know we have with what others appear to have. Generally, we can find a way to compare ourselves unfavorably with others. Envy has now taken root.

Matthew 20:13 Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius?

Jesus taught a parable about envy in Matthew 20:1-16. A landowner hired laborers for his vineyard early in the morning for a fair day's wage. Throughout the morning and even into the afternoon he hired more workers, promising to pay them "whatever is right" (v. 4). They agreed to his terms and went to work.

Later that evening he paid each laborer the same wage, regardless of how long they had worked. Predictably, those who had worked diligently in the scorching heat all day compared and grumbled, "That's not fair!" But the vineyard owner reminded them that they had agreed to work for what they had agreed upon, and the money was his to do with as he chose.

We become just like the "grumblers" when our limited perspective leads us to compare what we think we deserve with what others appear to get. The result of this comparison shopping is envy.

We live in the "culture of comparison." Everyone has their rights-their entitlements. A Christian should avoid comparison at all costs. Don't plant the seed. Instead we must learn what the employees did on that hot day. Our heavenly Master is just and good in all His judgments. And because He can be trusted, we can learn to be content in circumstances that by all outward appearances seem downright unfair.

Ultimately the choice for each of us is whether or not we truly believe that God is in control, or our desires are in control. The choice is yours.

Praying that we all become happy with what we have
Pastor Mike

Must read joke of the day:

Mean Old Man

An old man and woman were married for years, even though they hated each other. When they had a confrontation, screaming and yelling could be heard deep into the night.

The old man would shout, "When I die, I will dig my way up and out of the grave and come back and haunt you for the rest of your life!"

Neighbors feared him because of the many strange occurrences that took place in their neighborhood.

The old man liked the fact he was feared. To everyone's relief, he died of a heart attack when he was 68.

His wife had a closed casket at the wake. After the burial, she went straight home and began to party as if there was no tomorrow.

Her neighbors, concerned for her safety, asked, "Aren't you afraid that he may indeed be able to dig his way up and out of the grave and come back and haunt you for the rest of your life?"

The wife put down her drink and said, "Let the old man dig. I had him buried upside down.


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