Anger: When We Drown in Comparison

by IFEOMA SAMUEL

Welcome to Day 4 of our Bible Study. Have you ever felt jealous or worried that your mates or colleagues are doing better than you are.

Key Scripture Genesis :1-16, 1 Samuel 2-20, John 21:20-23, Luke 10: 38-42

Devotional Insight:  Comparison and envy, the traps of our hurried competitive, over-achievement driven generation. How do these two contribute to living in anger? We learn from a few more Bible characters today and relate their situations to our own lives.

Anger, When We compare ourselves to others

Anger can be fueled by Comparison. And Comparison leads to envy.

When you wish you had what others had- you are an attention-seeking girl. What makes us desire what others have? We eant their stage to be ours!

Dear attention seeking heart, it is o.k if others share in the spotlight!

A heart that constantly compares is not far from envy

Comparison causes you to lose your joy and freedom.

It makes you to lose ability to think straight.

Comparison causes you to lose your connection with God and opens the door for the enemy.

Is Comparison fueling your anger?

We get angry because it is not “us”. We become angry that people’s success isn’t ours. Our judgement of issues is skewed because it is one sided. We care less about how that successful person got there.

What if we are careful to listen to their stories. Then we will gain rich insight as to “how” and “what” values made them succeed. And apply such wisdom to leading ours.

God knows our weakness and susceptibility to dwell on ungodly thoughts. Hence the instruction, “guard your hearts with all diligence in Proverbs 24:3

When we compare ourselves to what others are doing we readily get offended.

Jesus came to spend time at their home. We are well acquainted with our sister Martha who gets all busy in preparations and urges Jesus to ask Mary to join her in the kitchen.

When Jesus replied to Martha he was addressing her real hunger “the need to be seen”, “the need to be recognized”. The attention we want can be received if we sit still at His feet and give ours to him.

Our attention should be on Him, not on performance. It’s not about us trying to impress whoever.

This one thing Mary was doing is needful; the one thing that truly matters – “listening to His word”. Between the pressure to perform and the need to sit still, Jesus pointed Martha to the worth and weight of our choices and how they differ in the eyes of the Lord. The better part is sitting still and gleaning at the feet of Jesus.

Jesus addressed a heart issue- comparison, the pressure to perform

Journal Prompt

Do you always find yourself considering these thoughts?

-They are doing nothing versus I am doing something.

-They are becoming popular versus I have always longed for the top.

-Theirs isn’t as pretty versus I have put great effort into this.

-Why is theirs acceptable versus I have spent everything.

Do you see where we fall? What if we paid attention to what the Lord speaks to us without bothering about other people’s assignment.

Consider the discussion between Jesus and Peter. After the Lord gave Peter his assignment asked what about this man referring to John. “What is it to thee? Follow thou me” John 21: 22

Jesus gives Peter the same lesson, as He gives you and me today.

An instruction to keep our eyes and hearts on Christ alone and not what another sister is doing. Do I hear Amen?

Journal Prompt

What if we asked ourselves that question every time our hearts want to deviate?

If Miriam asked herself “what is it to me what Moses and Zipporah do?” Numbers 12:1-10

If Rebekah asked herself the same question and put herself in Leah’s shoes.

Hannah took a different approach. Most women would have wallowed in envy and desperation. She pressed hard on the Lord instead. She wanted what any woman would desire in her home, a child. The only one who can give her need is God.

Compare Hannah’s response to Rebekah’s Anger over not having her expectation.

What if Rebekah reached out to the Lord for help instead?

The enemy seeks to keep our hearts in state of comparison. It is a ploy to lure us away from contentment and push us into doubt and questioning God’s goodness in our lives.

You see Jesus saying this to Peter and to us “Follow thou me”.

God always gives us a chance to make our choice. The gentle knock on the door of our hearts urging us to repent.

Cain had a special opportunity to repent and reverse has thought process. Imagine a man conversing with his maker.

God speaks the Truth to us, but are we ready to listen?

Cain had a choice to learn from Abel. But he chose “rivalry” between him and his brother.

Envy is destructive and so is the anger that comes with it. It can consume anything and anyone on its path.

We have the gift of people from which we can learn and glean wisdom. It is not an accident they are with us. God sets leaders, skilled persons and wise people for our benefits.

You see, it all starts in our thoughts- comparison and then anger, then ill-will.

These quickly send people down on spiral path to destruction.

Cain brewed over his thoughts. He watered it. Several thoughts later he got his brother in a quiet place to complete/play out his idea. It all started from comparison and refusal to heed to God’s voice.

Comparison blinds our eyes to lessons and corrections we should be making. We set our hearts fixed on one the perspective – success.

There’s no wisdom in comparing your journey with others.

For we dare not make ourselves of the number or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. 2Corinthians 10:12 kjv

Someone would always be better than we are. There will always be learning gaps for us to fill. However, this does not depreciate our worth neither should it affect how we view ourselves instead it should motivate us to keep getting better at whatever you do.

Journal Prompt

Ask yourself what is it to me if “this and that about so and so about this person”. This helps put your heart in the right place.

Switch to thanksgiving that God is glorifying Himself in others too. See what happens.

Ask the Lord to bless you in your estate. It is never going to be in the way He does for others.

Words of Affirmation.

The Lord will perfect all that concerns me.

I am growing and I am learning every day.

The Lord is my portion and satisfies my soul deeply.

Action Plan.

Consider your response to other people’s success.  Choose to celebrate with them.

Take necessary steps to learn and grow.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, set my heart right before you. Forgive my envious and discontent heart. Let me beat after you. Let me please you and you alone. Help me to seek that one thing alone and dwell in your Holy Presence in Jesus name. Amen.

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21 Day Bible Study: How To Overcome Anger and Live A Joy-filled Life

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