Down To Earth: Living Out The Parables Of Jesus

Day 3 of 7 • This day’s reading


The Surefire Way to Ensure Your Unhappiness

Jesus tells a story in Matthew 20 about a group of people hired as day laborers by a land owner. The group who was hired first woke up that morning with no guarantee of any work. Day laborers live off the work from each day, so no work would mean no food that night for them or their family. When they are hired, this first group is delighted to be offered a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. And that’s what they receive. 

Had this group of workers been paid first, they would have gone home content, satisfied, and happy. They got what they’d agreed to at the beginning of the day: a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. But because they are paid last, they have the chance to compare what they are paid with what others are paid (who did not work as long). 

It’s the comparison that robs them of their contentment.

It’s the same with us. Comparing your life to others is always the surefire way to ensure your unhappiness. Envy eats away at us. That’s why Jesus is telling this story – so that we recognize and avoid the trap of comparison. It will only rob us of joy. 

The reality is that today if you look for reasons to complain, you will be able to find them. Likewise, if you decide to look for reasons to be grateful, you will be able to find them as well. You will find what you are looking for. 

God wanted to give you the gift of life. You did not do anything to earn it. It’s just part of His generosity towards you. Don’t waste another moment comparing your life to someone else’s. Instead, look for the reasons to be grateful for all that you’ve been given. If you look, you will be able to find plenty of them. 

Prayer: Make a list of the good things God has placed in your life right now.  Then pray, “Lord, thank You for the gift of life. Forgive me when I fall into envy and jealousy. Today, give me eyes to see the many good and generous things and people You have placed in my life. Help me to thank You for each one of them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”