September 3 – Green Eyed Monsters

Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind. (Ecclesiastes 4:4)

Read: Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12, 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:7, Psalm 47:1-9, Proverbs 22:16

Relate: Yesterday afternoon I had five to ten minutes to kill. I was waiting to meet up with another guy who was new to my city. Not knowing the language or the city it is very important that someone shows him the ropes and so we were to get together at the front of the mall and then I was going to show him how to get a transportation card (and then how to use it). As I waited I went into one store near that front lobby of Sanko Mall called LC Waikiki. I was looking at the dress and polo shirts and saw price tags in the range of 20-45tl. Still waiting I went across the lobby into another shop that had pretty much the exact same shirts. There were two tiny differences. The first was the price tags. In this second store the price tags ranged from 90-160tl. The other difference was that these shirts all had a tiny logo of a man on a horse and/or four little letters: USPA.

At the moment I was simply shaking my head and wondering, why on earth would someone be willing to pay four times more for the same exact thing just to have a stupid little logo added on? But I know that later on today while I am going about my day I will walk past other men wearing that little logo. As I pass them by that price difference won’t seem so great. You know I really could afford to buy just one, couldn’t I? Disclaimer: I actually do have two polo T-shirts. I bought them a year ago on a BOGO sale and even with the second one free I still overpayed. So I’m not perfect. I caved.

React: How often do we all cave to the pressure to keep up with our neighbors? Do we really need that bigger house, better car, or newer style or is it just something we saw a friend or neighbor get? I am not talking about politics but in their purist forms the reason why capitalism works and communism doesn’t is because the first is based on greed and the second on sharing. How often does what I see others have or do motivate my own actions and thoughts? Why is this? How godly is this?

Respond:

Dear Lord,
Help me to look only to You. It is so easy when I take my eyes off of You to see all the things that others in this rat race called life are accumulating. More than any of those things, help me to want You. Don’t let me get trapped in the comparison game. Help me to avoid wasting time and money on things that do not, and never will, matter. Give me the wisdom to pursue only You.
Amen

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