How do you feel,
– When you have to congratulate the “Employee-of-the-year”?
– When one of your church members is either 6’2” and has strapping muscles, or has that 36-24-36 figure and draws way more attention than you would like to admit?
– When you meet that spiritual acrobat, church-planting champion, bold evangelist, good-looking, married to “very good-looking”, with 4 children, a nice car & a beautiful home?
We all want to be “better people”. In fact, we want to be the best. As we run about our busy lives, our busy hearts churn up thoughts that we will never be as well-built, intelligent or spiritual as somebody else is.
It’s a plane.. it’s a rocket. It’s….Better-man!
Our hidden beliefs.
For those of us who are followers of Jesus, our thoughts could be too shameful to admit. We know we are to love our neighbours but many times we just wish these “better people” would be worse than us. But is that what Jesus would think of his neighbours?
When it comes to wanting to be known as the best, we would rather have no competition within our family, workplace & church community. But what does this reveal about what our hearts are devoted to?
Does all this mean that we are unable to accept God’s plan for Rahul or Priya to be better at evangelism than we are? Is that personal frustration – or is it rebellion against God’s loving purposes?
“They scoff and speak only evil; in their pride they seek to crush others” (Ps 73:8). Have you felt like you would rather see the better people, beaten, crushed and humbled on their own turf? It is common for Christians to be tempted by such self-glorifying thoughts. But Scripture shows that we want others to go down sinking, because we become proud.
“For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world” (1 John 2:16, NLT). It’s probably envy and jealousy that we have stored deep in our hearts because we do not desire what Christ desires, instead we want “pride in our possessions”. Are these not signs of a heart that looks to its possessions to find approval from self and others?
If only we look to God our Father, who has given us His approval when we believed in His Son Jesus who died for our sins and ask for faith that knows that we don’t have to be someone else to please God on His mission. And His mission is to help others worship Jesus alone.
Remember, nothing can help you be content and in the best posture for God’s purpose here on earth than the truth that God our Father could have given you the wealth of 5 millionaires when He chose to save you, but He thinks you will serve Him best with the money you exactly have right now. How freeing is the thought that this holds true for your family problems, your EMIs, your chest size, your sin struggles and your spiritual maturity.
“What makes you better than anyone else? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own?” (1 Cor 4:7, NLT)
If we find ourselves disliking others due to their achievements, have we forgotten that Jesus is actually so kind and so in control of our lives? Do we believe that if more money or a more responsible spouse is what we needed, He still would not have granted us that?
Have we forgotten to believe He is gracious? Forgotten that He is sovereign? Then do we not need to repent of that evil?
To paraphrase Tim Keller, let us ask God’s Holy Spirit to come help us not to think more of ourselves or less of ourselves, but to think more of Jesus and His acceptance of us as God’s children. “He causes them to change their minds; he keeps them from pride.” (Job 33:17, NLT)
How do you deal with better people? Are there better ways you know to overcome “that inferior feeling” ?