Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me. (Job 41:11)
On April 7, 2019, Craig Arttez Brewer walked into a Waffle House and started handing out $20 bills to strangers. For whatever reason, Brewer chose not to extend his generosity to all the restaurant’s patrons, only some.
One customer who did not receive one of Brewer’s generous gifts became furious and stormed out of the restaurant. A few minutes later, the customer returned with a gun, shooting and killing Brewer on the spot.
This tragic true story illustrates an important truth: God is the creator of the universe. He created us and every good thing in this world, and thus, he is free to do with our lives whatever he pleases. Just as the angry Waffle House customer had no right to Craig Brewer’s generosity, we have no right to God’s.
Because we sinned against our Creator, the only “claim” we have against him is the claim to eternal separation from him (see Romans 6:23). That is what we deserve. Everything else—from our salvation, to our jobs, to the breath in our lungs—is a good and merciful gift of grace.
And it is that truth that can free us from soul-sucking comparison. Last week, we saw that confessing our pride is the first way to escape the comparison trap. Here’s the second: Thank God for the goodness he has shown—to you and to others.
Thanking God for the goodness he has shown you turns your focus away from what you want to what you have already been given.
And thanking God for the goodness he has shown others helps you remember that their success too is a gift from God—even if they aren’t followers of him!
This is where many of us can get hung up. Let’s say you’re competing for a promotion at work and you lose out to a lying, womanizing colleague who hates the ways of the Lord. That can be a tough pill to swallow.
But God’s Word promises that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father” (James 1:17) who “sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). And so, we can trust that God knows what he’s doing—even when he allows the “unrighteous” to prosper.
This morning, I want you to think of just one person you tend to compare yourself to. Thank God for the goodness he has shown them—their talents, prosperity, health, etc.
And thank him for the unmerited goodness he has shown you, joining Jacob in praying, “I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant” (Genesis 32:10).