Through all phases of life you are likely to see something or someone that you feel looks better than you or has something you want.
Let me paint a picture for you; You show up to a party and your girlfriend has on a beautiful dress with the purse, shoes and accessories to match and there you are with a dress that is 5 years old and flip-flops. Meanwhile, your husband is downstairs checking out the finished basement, with a projector TV and movie style seating. Now what? Do you completely blow your monthly budget, head to the department store and duplicate her outfit? Does your husband want to empty out your savings account or charge your credit card so he can have a movie theater in the basement? OR are you happy that you both have friends to visit, dress and shoes to wear and that fit, a means of transportation to the party, and a house to live in?
I hope you choose the latter, but chances are you will be pulling out the credit card!! It's natural to feel envious and jealous, but these are also 2 of the 7 deadly sins. If we are constantly being jealous of others, how are we being thankful for what we have? God wants us to be like Paul and Job, who were content when they had everything and when they had nothing.
Comparing Our Worst To Someone Else's Best
A celebrity once said that we need to stop comparing our worst to someone else’s best. That struck a nerve because it completely exposed what I have been doing for years. I am a mother of four children, I lost all my pregnancy weight, but still have the mommy tummy and I am constantly looking at mothers with flat stomachs! I was sick of looking 4 months pregnant and my husband and I visited the plastic surgeon’s office for our free consultation about me getting a tummy tuck. I found out it would cost $5,000 for the procedure. I was ready to schedule my appointment. Two days later, I was laid off.
The only thing I can do now is change my mindset and be thankful that my body did what it needed to birth my healthy children.
Not being content with the blessings God has given us has cost many people hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Trying to keep up the Jones almost cost me $5,000. How much has it cost you?
Money Can't Buy Happiness
Now, let me tell you something about the Jones, they are in debt up to their eyeballs. My husband was a mortgage consultant for over 5 years before he went into banking and worked in a very upscale neighborhood. Many customers, who made well over $200K, were looking to either refinance their home, get a HELOC, or cash out just to pay off their $100,000 credit card bill. To make matter worse, during the application process, many husbands learned about their wives spending habits and would end up divorced. See the Jones might have every material possession imaginable, but are they happy? NO, because money does not buy happiness; if it did celebrities would not divorce as often as they do…think about it.
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with having money, the problem is when money has you.
Do you really need the 5,000 square foot house, a $40K wedding, a new Coach bag, the Blu-Ray player, the IPhone, or the trophy Starbuck’s cup? I can go on and on, but I think you get the point. All these unnecessary materialistic possessions will cost a small fortune.
Saving Money Is Like Going On A Diet
Saving money can be compared to dieting. It is a slow process and you will begin to see changes immediately if done right. BUT, if you are not mentally prepared and committed to eat right AND exercise then all your efforts will be in vain. The same applies to money. In order to reach financial security you have to save more AND spend less. You might be able to save the money, but will you go off and spend what you have saved as soon as your friend buys a TV bigger than yours or your girlfriends flaunts a new pair of Jimmy Choo sandals.
The act of being content is a challenge that one cannot face alone. Prayer is one of the most powerful tools God has given us, so use it. When you are feeling envious or jealous, pray for God to remove those thoughts and allow you to be more thankful and content for what you have. Instead of thinking about everything you don’t have, think about everything you DO have. Be happy that you are alive, have a family, can see, hear, walk, talk, drive a car, have a car to drive, clothes in your closet, food in your refrigerator, water in your faucet, a computer to read this article, the money to pay for the internet, a bed to sleep in, sheets on the bed, and most important a God in Heaven to call Father. When you see someone with something nice, be happy for them. Tell yourself that they work hard and God has blessed them and will bless you!
Change your mindset, change your life.