Comparing Yourself to Others

When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister, and she said to Jacob, give me children, or I shall die.  Genesis 30:1

Recently another writer shared how much she wanted to be like me—well, not exactly like me, since she hardly knew me.  She was really referring to my published novels and the amount of books I have sold.  It made me chuckle.  I often compare myself to other writers with far more success than I’ve known, and wish that I could be more like them.

The above verse talks about the dangers of comparing ourselves to other.  You may remember how Jacob worked seven years to marry Rachel. After the wedding, he was outraged to discover he had married Leah, Rachel’s sister, instead.  The Bible describes Leah as “weak-eyed” which makes me think she wasn’t as pretty as Rachel.   It’s complicated—but the short version is that Jacob married, Rachel, too.  No surprise that he loved Rachel more than her sister, even though Leah bore many sons.  Rachel, in spite of being most loved, had trouble getting pregnant.

One might think Rachel would value her status as favorite wife.  But instead, Rachel fell into the same trap as the rest of us do—she focused on her sister who had something she wanted.  Rachel’s envy made her miserable.  This misery spilled over onto the one she loved.

It’s a challenge to be content with our lot in life.  The next time I am tempted to envy those authors on the best sellers list, I will try to remember Rachel.  After all, it’s not about what we don’t have or what others do.  It’s about how we appreciate and value those things that are given to us, and make the best of what we have.







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