Then I observed that most people are motivated to success by their envy of their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless, like chasing the wind.
Trying to keep up with the Jones’ is nearly impossible. Yet, we try and try to compete with our neighbors, co-workers, and especially our family and friends. Instead of being sincerely happy for the success or praise of others, we are often "green with envy."
Why is it that we say things like, "It must be nice," when we see someone prospering? If we see a friend get a new car, the first thing we say is, “I need a new car,” whether we need one or not. Just the fact of knowing someone has a newer or more expensive model eats us up with jealousy. If our sister gets a new house, we suddenly decide ours is too small or needing upgrades. It is all just a vicious cycle. We are always trying to beat one another, because we just "gotta have the best." Sounds silly but it is true. Actually, it is embarrassing.
One of the Ten Commandments clearly states, do not covet thy neighbor's goods. It is a sin. We don't think about it because we have grown so accustomed to doing it. We are constantly envying others. God pours abundant blessings over each of us because God has no respect of persons. They may not come in the form we want or even when we want them. We tend to forget that God is always on time and He doesn’t work on our time schedule. We focus on our don’t haves and forget about the do haves. Honestly, thank God that He doesn’t give us everything we want because He knows what tomorrow holds in store for us.
How many times do we judge the book by its cover, never considering the work, the time, the sweat, the preparation, or the situation of others? We are just so consumed in our own lives and agendas, our own desires to even pay attention to those around us. Our neighbor may have a huge gorgeous home, but be struggling from payday to payday to cover the mortgage. Our friend may be getting praise while in front of us, but abused and discouraged at home. We don't see the whole picture sometimes, so why be envious of one another?
We all have the good and the bad. We all have the old and the new. For crying out loud, we must learn to be content! The grass is not always greener in someone else’s yard.