Win Today with Christopher Cook

Get Unstuck. Reclaim Your Purpose. Win Today.

Why You Need to Win the War Against Comparison & Jealousy

Several years ago, I worked under a particular individual. Behind the kiddy pool depth of talent, however, brewed a steady stream of incompetence, disorganization, and to be completely honest, utter ineptitude. Not many people saw it initially. But I did.

Hero to some. Zero to me.

Weeks passed and my frustration mounted. I found myself covering his errors, fixing his misguided decisions, and discovering unearthed layers of untruth and incompetence.

What fired me up most? He had been there five weeks. I had been there five years. I wanted his perks. I wanted his salary. I wanted his level of influence. I questioned how he even received this opportunity. After all, I believed I deserved it. Even worse, I wanted his respect. Truthfully, I was more qualified to do his job than he was. I had been there longer. I was the dependable one. I was the faithful one. And…I was the jealous, disillusioned, angry one.

Jesus Give ME the Wheel!

Though my frustration was valid, behind the confusion and jealousy was a faulty belief system that I had to take responsibility to deal with head-on. Somehow, I believed that this person’s promotion, favor, and authority dictated and offset my potential, my future, and my portion. As such, I was insistent on setting things straight. Though I’d never verbalize it, my subconscious actually couldn’t reconcile how promotion did come from the Lord, that He does order my steps, that He does make things right, and that He really is in charge of my life. In my mind, the ship was sailing way off course, so I took the wheel from Jesus.

None of that mattered in the moment, however, because my theme song was “I’ll have what he’s having.” At any cost. I just wanted a chance. I wanted my well-earned portion.

Looking Out for #1

For most of us, there is a steady chatter at work in our minds. The voices of comparison, jealousy, self-protection, fairness, and insignificance, all rooted in fear, squawk unsubstantiated threats into the space between our ears.

“Protect yourself!”
“What about YOU?!”
“You got screwed!”
“You’re overlooked again!”
“Go get yours!”

Sound familiar?

Giving attention and weight to our own limiting beliefs empowers them to control our thought life and eventually our choices. We always act upon what we believe, 100% of the time. Behind every action is a subconscious mindset, and behind that mindset is a belief system. In truth, there’s only one person that can truly hinder the development of your potential and the fulfillment of your God-birthed destiny, and that’s you. But even in that, God will not leave you orphaned in process.

Emotional Socialism

“I’ll have what he’s having.”

That’s the problem; the unattainable, uniform, level-the-playing-field conveyor belt of provision. It’s emotional socialism.

I’m not proud to admit this, but feelings of being overlooked and dismissed still arrive at the doorstep of my mind occasionally. The struggle is real. However, as I’ve worked diligently with the Lord for healing in my heart and renewing in my mind, I have learned that we can either take what we think we have earned (and deserve) or trust Him for that which comes through His hand of grace. You can’t obsess over what you have earned or deserve; it’s exasperating, and exasperation is a by-product of striving.

I Want Mine!

Recorded in Matthew 20, Jesus teaches a parable about a landowner who went out to hire workers for his vineyard early in the morning. They agreed to receive a specific wage in exchange for a full day’s work. As the day progressed, the landowner hired more workers at the same rate. Here’s where things got messy:

“When the day’s work was over, the owner of the vineyard instructed his foreman, ‘Call the workers in and pay them their wages. Start with the last hired and go on to the first.’ Those hired at five o’clock came up and were each given a dollar. When those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more. But they got the same, each of them one dollar. Taking the dollar, they groused angrily to the manager, ‘These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us, who slaved all day under a scorching sun.’ He replied to the one speaking for the rest, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair. We agreed on the wage of a dollar, didn’t we? So take it and go. I decided to give to the one who came last the same as you. Can’t I do what I want with my own money? Are you going to get stingy because I am generous?’”

I tend to agree with the early workers, don’t you? In my observation, isn’t fair, but they did agree upon a wage. I said “yes” to what I was doing before a wolf came on the scene.

Pause. Writing this is irritating me, but I’ll talk to myself. We cannot take our American dream/American cultural propensities and super-impose them upon our paradigm of the kingdom’s method of operation. It just doesn’t work! We often want God to think like us, but He doesn’t. I’m not at all suggesting passivity, naïveté, or endorsing others to take advantage of you or abuse you, but I’d much rather receive the provision that comes by God’s unmerited favor (grace) than the provision that comes through my limited resources and hard labor. Why? His is better and lasts longer.

Simply stated, when you relate to God in contract and what you “deserve,” you’ll get train-wrecked every time. Work within Kingdom culture of Grace!

Encouragement in Your Vineyard

I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that no one can thwart the plans God has for me (or your) life. No one. For His purpose were you created. You are significant. Consider where you could be without Him. If you’re in a situation similar to what I experienced, I encourage you to be faithful to the Lord and trust Him for the timely, unique, personal portion that comes from His hand. Eradicate comparison. Stay passionate. Stay excellent.

As for the wolf, he’s gone. Long gone. He didn’t last more than a year.

What the process taught me is that a muscle of character was being formed within that provided for me the ability to stay in the game for the long haul and actually sustain blessing when it came.

  • Lyn

    Chris,
    Wow. Your brutal honesty and steadfast walk with Christ is so much an inspiration. Thank you for allowing HIM to speak through you. I am blessed by YOU and your writing, wisdom and heart. ♡♡♡

    • Lyn, thank you so much. This was a tough piece to write, but I know that the lesson I learned will help people in their own maturity! I appreciate your words so much!

  • Terri Meckes

    Painful trials and self examination produce growth… And that growth is for the benefit of others! So proud of you and your chasing after the things of God.