Do you begrudge others for their status in life? I’ve visited that emotional state and let me tell you, it’s definitely not a place where you want to take up residence.
I spent the earlier part of my career feeling inferior to some of my colleagues. My feelings of inadequacy were not tied to my performance or abilities, because I achieved on those levels and have had much success. However, I allowed myself to feel inferior over the ascribed status that some of my colleagues possessed and that I deemed important, yet unattainable for advancement in my career at the time.
I hadn’t graduated from the most prestigious University. I wasn’t a member of the local Country Club. I didn’t have the right social connections and my future wasn’t neatly wrapped with a trust fund bow…and if the truth be known I carried a chip on my shoulder at times because of it and was envious of those who possessed it and the material things that went along with such status.
I spent some time subconsciously trying to crack that social circle. I wanted to attain the status of the upper echelon within my organization but there was no amount of charm, personality, or ability that could get this public school girl a membership card. It was definitely a closed social group and I would never be selected as a member. I envied those who had inherited this status and at the same time, scoffed at their social network.
Funny how time and maturity will change your perspective on things. I have none of those desires now.I am happy and content with my life and how my career has progressed. Our pastor, Craig Strickland (Hope Presbyterian Church/Cordova, TN) spoke on this very subject during the time when these issues were larger stumbling blocks for me. I remember him telling us that we needed to learn to appreciate God’s grace in other people’s lives. I’d never really thought about the status symbols or “material things” we place on being successful as a gift of Grace from God. I remember Pastor Craig’s definitions of Grace and Mercy from that sermon too. He said, “Grace is God giving us the things we Don’t deserve. Mercy is God NOT giving us the things we Do deserve.” I’m so thankful for His Mercy above all!
Looking back, I’m glad I was never inducted into that social network. I’m proud of my humble beginnings. I had to work hard for the things I achieved and I think I appreciate it more as a result.
Jealousy and envy were stumbling blocks for me earlier in my career and are venomous emotions that will eat you alive! However, I’ve also learned that feelings of inferiority are not of God either. Those feelings are placed in our mind by the evil one to keep us from achieving our full potential.
When we finally learn to appreciate God’s grace in other people’s lives, it frees our hearts of envy and opens us up to allow God to move in our own life. Self-worth and approval does not come from social status or possessions. As followers of Christ, we are members of the Royal Family of The Most High God. So there is never a reason to envy the ascribed status of anyone on this earth.
In the book of John 14:2, Jesus tells his disciples that He is “going to prepare a place for us” and when “everything is ready” he “will come and get us”. Oh what a glorious day that will be! We will inherit the Kingdom riches that Christ has prepared… and that will be the status quo for all those who believe in Him!