Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Short End of the Stick (02/20/14)
By Edmond Ng
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- For I was envious of the arrogant As I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no pains in their death, And their body is fat. They are not in trouble as other men, Nor are they plagued like mankind. (Psalm 73:3-5 NAS)
“We’d have done a better job if we were sent for the training, but as always when it comes to opportunities from the boss, we get the short end of the stick.”
That was how I felt when I was working in a corporation as a support engineer some years ago. While everyone in the team had to support customers, only two members were given the opportunity to be trained abroad. Yet when they returned, much of the support job was still assigned to those who were untrained, and there was no sharing of information of what was learned from the training.
Many of us have experienced being shortchanged of something we feel we deserved. We think of ourselves as unfairly treated and at times envy those who do better than us. We discover that being a Christian is not as smooth sailing as we hope our lives to be, and at times we might even get putdown or be given a miss because of our faith or belief.
Like the psalmist, we might envy the arrogant because of their prosperity and because they seemingly suffered no pain in their death. They do not get into trouble like us nor are plagued with the problems we face almost daily. We might even think we have kept our hearts pure in vain (Psalm 73:3-5, 13-14).
God’s word exhorts us not to envy such people—the sinners, the wicked, the evildoers and wrongdoers—or desire to be with them (Psalm 37:1; Proverbs 23:17; 24:1, 19). Are we envious because our hirer or boss is generous to some but not to all? As followers of the Lord, we should not be envious but should accept what is due to us. After all, is it not lawful for a hirer or boss to do what he or she wish with his or her own (Matthew 20:14-16)?
In all circumstances and in everything, therefore, give thanks for this is God's will for us in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Dear Lord, forgive us for sometimes complaining and gossiping about our dissatisfactions. Help us be grateful for what we have Lord and not feel unhappy that someone else is doing better or getting more than our rewards. Place in our hearts the joy of Your salvation Lord that when unfairly treated because of our faith and belief in You, we might rejoice and accept what is due to us. See us through in our daily encounters with problems and troubles Lord and keep our hearts pure all the days of our lives.
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