Look, I think we’ve established that I’m going to always be honest with you. So, in that spirit, I’ve titled this devo #LBH (that’s year 2015 for “lets be honest”), because y’all, it’s about to get real. Here it goes (deep breath): Does it bother you when you see people doing bad stuff and nothing happens to them, and they actually seem to prosper?

I mean…COME ON! In the words of Gwen Stephani, IT’S BANANAS!!

And look, I know I’m not the only one. In the first part of Psalm 73, the psalmist was feeling the same way saying “…they have set their mouth against the heavens…Behold, these are the wicked; And always at ease, they have increased in wealth.” He ends his rant (p.s.-because it goes on for 13 verses) (p.s.s.-no judgment, we all have our moments) with this: “Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure.” Is it bad that I laugh at this part? It’s funny in a I-totally-feel-this-way-and-have-a-pity-party-too, way. Think about it…even if you’re not looking at some billionaire thinking “Gah! Why him!” you may be looking at your co-worker who, coincidentally, just got promoted who, coincidentally, comes into work every day 11am and leaves promptly at 1:45pm. Now I might be hitting closer to home. Now you might be saying “Gah! Why him/her!”

But we’re smart people. We know what all this is right? It’s comparison. It’s self-pity. It’s bitterness. It’s envy. Yikes…when we really see the truth of our heart, it’s ugly. I realize I’m infinitely undeserving of the Lords kindness. Yet we have been given inexhaustible KINDNESS through Christ Jesus. Through Christ, the Holy Spirit reveals to us our heart and changes it. It happened with the Psalmist too. His heart was changed too…

Psalm 73:21-26 (NLT)

21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23  Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand.
24  You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.
25  Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

This passage brings me to tears. Even now, as I’m writing this to you, I’m tearing up. Do you feel the love now? Do you see the absolute kindness we have through Christ? Even in our bold-faced bitterness toward the Lord, he doesn’t let us go. He doesn’t give up on us. In his kindness he corrects us, yet he continues to hold our hand. He continues to guide us and counsel us. He is all we need forever.

Here’s the problem with comparison: it always leads us to sin more. It may lead to pride or self-pity, or envy and bitterness. We forget 1 Peter 1:17 says that the Lord judges each of us impartially, and instead, we start trying to convince God of our superiority over other people in our world.

How is this any way to live? Constant comparison wages war in our heart and with our emotions. It takes our eyes off of the Lord—the director of our steps and it fixes our eyes on ourselves—how we’ve been mistreated, hurt or victimized. Readers, let me remind you, this life—YOUR life—is not about you. No dear friend. Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

 O Lord, I draw near to you because you are the strength of my heart. There is no one like you or beside you. My life is yours forever, because my life is no longer my own. Help me live in a way that is not possessive or jealous or bitter or self-pitying. Help me compare myself only to Jesus, who is my great reward.