Saturday, January 25, 2014

Arms Race

“One of the sanest, surest, and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others.”  -Robert A Heinlein 

In eighth grade my best friend Emanuel and I were obsessed with bench press. To us this was the ultimate litmus test of a man’s strength.  He was a bit stronger than me, and that put us (or at least me anyway) in an arms race to be the best.  Usually I was just five pounds behind him, but as soon as I thought I’d caught up, he’d also get five pounds stronger.  One day Emanuel went for a new bench press record of 200 pounds.  While I spotted him, and he inched ever so closer, I heard my mind scream “NO, NO, NO, NO!!!!”  Of course when he accomplished 200 pounds, what I actually said was, “Good job, bro.”  However, I know that I was not really glad for him.  I was jealous.  As if him growing stronger actually affected whether or not I could also grow stronger!  Some people never grow out of envy no matter what stage of life they’re in.  Are you truly glad for your best friend when they get married and you’re still single? Or what about when someone younger than you gets the promotion?  There’s nothing wrong with desiring good things, just don’t let desire interfere with you rejoicing in the victories of others.  God has enough blessing for all, so trust in His will.  Know that God loves you, too, and also wants to bless you. 

When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow (Romans 12:15, NLT).