Today. We’ll start kind of a series called “SS” which is like “Silly Stresses”. We do have some silly stresses in our life. We are now very much stressful than before because of the COVID because of the pandemic and the problems everywhere.
So we all are stressed, but there are kind of silly stresses. Some of the stresses are real stresses. When you have a disease, you have an accident or have a real problem. Now you are stressed, but some kinds of stresses are not real. They are silly, fake and nothing. but you feel stressed, although this kind of stress is not solid stress, is not a real one.
The first idea of silly stress is the idea of “Comparison”. When you compare yourself to others, you are stressing yourselves with silly ideas. That’s the first type of silly stress. When you think always in a way of a comparative way, you always competing with someone. And, you always live your life as if you are in a race, so you want to prove yourself. You want to say I’m better than someone. So now you have stressed out nothing actually.
Saul and David
let’s study the forms of this comparison or the forms of this silly stress and the story of “Saul and David” there was a kind of a silly stress Saul was very much stressed seeing that everyone was praising David, although there was no real comparison.
Saul was the king and David was less than a soldier. He was nothing at that time. But because Saul started to compare himself with David, he felt so stressed and you all know by the end of the story, this silly stress killed Saul. He was condemned because of this silly stress. this silly stress pushed him to try to kill David And he killed himself just because of this bad way of thinking. He is always comparing himself to someone.
Cain and Abel
Back to the story of “Cain and Abel” is the same story. There was no kind of comparing Cain and Abel, they were both the sons of God, the sons of Adam. So why does he compare himself to his brother, he was beloved by God, as exactly as Abel was beloved by God.
But because he competed with Abel, he killed his brother. And that’s the way of silly stresses.
People may compare themselves with the, as you may know, the house, the beauty, the level of beauty, especially for the girls, the success in your life, the title you have, how much money you own, the title of your service, the achievement in your life, the number of children, the success of your children, the salary. So people tend to compare themselves to others in many aspects of life. And then this way they are stressing themselves with very silly stress, it is not stress.
The gravity of this comparison, the complications, this may end up in a fit of bitter jealousy which we had seen in the story of Saul or Cain also kind of envy, so it looks like it’s just silly stress but actually, it will give birth to great and killing sins as you had seen.
Loving your neighbor as yourself
Also, it may end up in a kind of fury, anger, hatred, condemnation, and judging others. So you fail to love people just because you are comparing yourself to them.
You will fail in the great commandment of loving your neighbor as yourself, just because you comparing yourself to others, you have to stop it. That’s silly, simply it’s a very silly way of thinking, but it’s very common, especially among servants. Again, this problem may give you some kind of misery, you have lots to praise God for, you are full of blessings. Plus, You can enjoy your life every minute of your life. You can praise God and enjoy it. But actually, you live in misery just because you are comparing yourself to others. And this will give you a fragile heart. So you cannot even know that someone had achieved anything.
You feel very angry, you feel very depressed because of the news around you. And you have nothing to do with this news.
The most serious problem this may push you to eternal perdition, condemnation forever. You may lose your eternity just because of this silly stress. So it’s not kind of, let’s try to push it away to live in peace, but it’s more than this it will push you to hell. If you do not stop this way of thinking.
Why do you compare yourself to others?
The reasons behind comparing yourself to others. Simply it may start with the comments of those around you. Some people enjoy stressing you, telling you that you are not as beautiful as your sister. You do not succeed in your career as so and so, so people may comment in a very negative way this will push you to think in this way.
Other reasons, like it’s a war, It’s a battle between you and devil, also it’s very much related to shallowness. When you are empty, you have lots of time, so your mind thinks freely in a very negative thinking or bad way of thinking.
Also, the problem of low self-esteem is when you feel inferior, you are not good as others, and you feel like you cannot do what others can do. So this will push you to compare yourself all the time.
Some kind of atmosphere, maybe.
The competitive atmosphere in many careers, even in the service sometimes, the atmosphere is full of competition, which is not the pure, healthy competition, there is a kind of healthy competition, but it’s not a healthy one because it lacks love.
When we love each other we can enjoy competing together, but if you succeed, I will be happy because I love you.
But if I fail to love you, when you succeed, I hate you more. So that’s the problem.
Also, parenting may play a big role in this problem. Some parents used to tell their children that they are not good. Look to someone he is much better than them.
So it started this bad way of thinking.
What did the remedy of this comparison way? How could we get out of this silly stress?
And I think most of you may suffer from this kind of stress.
Let’s revise this theme given by Solomon the wise, The book of Proverbs 27
“A satisfied soul loses the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet.”
So it’s all about satisfaction. If you live in satisfaction. When you are happy with what you have. You do not need to compare yourself to anyone. And, If you see God’s love. Also, If you enjoy your life, and you know what kind of mission you have in your life, you need not compare yourself to anyone. So it’s all about getting satisfaction.
I Compare myself to Others: What Should I Do?
The first idea is Train yourself to praise God continuously, the continuous gratitude, this feeling will push this silly stress for those who are always saying, thank you, God. Thank you so much for everything I have, they can focus on what they have and this way they will never compete or compare themselves to anyone. But when you stop thanking God, you will think why don’t I have this or that? Because you start to a compare.
Another good management to this comparison, is that way of thinking when you enjoy the love of God and the love of people, and when you pray for people, you are getting outside yourself, you are freeing your mind from being selfish.
You think of others’ needs. You want to praise God for other successes. You are happy that people are enjoying things. So you are helping yourself not to compare, but to love more. So just train yourself to pray for others and try to care more for others.
Did They ever compare you to others when you were young?
I remember some young man told me I was brought up in a family where they used to tell me, you are bad. You are much worse than your brother and all the comments were related to comparing myself to others. So I found out that I love no one, and I could feel that my heart is full of anger.
And after I listened carefully to the words of the Lord, Jesus Christ in the sermon of the mountain, I tried hard to love everyone and pray for them. And I imagined myself if i was a dead man, I do not care for myself. I will not think of myself. I do not need anything. I cared so much to push myself to love others in this way. I started to enjoy life. And I found out that everyone now loves me so much and I did my best just because I stopped thinking of myself.
Your mission is different!
So another remedy for comparison is to be convinced of the mission and value. You have a mission in your life. Peter is not Paul. Paul is not John, John is not Andrew, but each of them has a mission in life. They need not compare themselves to anyone.
Everyone is accepted by God. Each one of them is beloved and has a mission.
Just do your mission, and work hard to fulfill what’s required from you. Do not look around, you are wasting your time and you are wasting your energy, your emotions. You are killing yourself when you looked here and there, just focus on what God needs from you.
Another good remedy is to train yourself, to work in a team, respect others, listen to others, know how to share and praise others’ deeds.
So when you work in a team, now you are not selfish. You are not self-centered. You are not in a comparative way.
You can enjoy, the team success. Not the success of yourself and this way you will help yourself. So that’s the first idea of silly stress. And I think you may have this problem, but please diagnose the problem and work hard to get rid of this bad way of thinking to live in peace and also to love people more. Glory to God. Amen.