The Beast in Me
“Comparison Is the Thief of Joy”
Ever look around you and get depressed? You are spending your summer working a dead-end job, while other teens hang out at a friend’s pool, sleep until noon and drive all over town in their brand-new car with their Dad’s credit card in their pocket. While they go on vacation to the Bahamas, you are dangling your feet in the creek visiting at your Grandmothers. It seems they always have a great looking date and cause broken hearts, yet never have a broken heart. They can eat non-stop and never gain weight, yet you can pass a Krispy Kreme and just smelling the doughnuts add pounds. Their family seems happy when divorce has ripped your family apart. And the worse blow of all is that you are a “good kid.” ” Comparison is the thief of joy.”
In Psalm 73, Asaph clearly understands how you feel. Take a few moments and look at the world through his eyes. “I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. (v. 3) “They are not in trouble as others men; neither are they plagued like other men (v. 5) Asaph looks at “the wicked” and sees that the struggles and the rules that seem to apply to everyone else, never refer to the wicked. “…they have more than heart could wish” (v. 7); they live to satisfy their own desires. “ They are corrupt and speak wickedly concerning oppression: “ (v. 8) The wicked love to bully and put down others. It is in making others feel small that they feel superior. And Asaph said in verse nine, “ They set their mouth against the heavens and their tongue walketh through the earth. “ Whether they mock, ignore, or deny His existents the wicked live lives void of God.
As Asaph focuses on the wicked and their prosperity, he began to feel a beast growing inside of him. Jealousy and envy are snarling and consuming enemies of a human soul. “Thus my heart was grieved (bitter) “ (v. 21), and I was pricked in my reins” (hurt). “ So foolish (brutish or stupid) was I, and ignorant( acting without godly wisdom ): I was as a beast before thee.” (v. 22) I allowed my emotions to control me and ravage my heart.
What does it take to set loose the beast inside of you? And once the beast is no longer bound, what do you do? God did not allow Asaph to leave us hanging, filled with uncontrolled rage. Woven through chapter seventy-three are the answers to taming the beast.
“ Until I went into the sanctuary of God;” (v. 17) Gripped by the beast, Asaph fell on his face, honestly before God and cried, “HELP ME!” We can only begin to quieten the beast when we see jealousy and envy for what they are sin. The sin that needs to be confessed and through the power of the Holy Spirit, conquered.
“… then understood I their end.”(v. 17) “For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish:” (v. 27) Remember that this is not the end of the story. God is pursuing the lost so they too may know Him. Those who reject God and persecute believers will one day stand before a just God. It is not our job to seek vengeance or balance the scales. God has it all in control.
“Nevertheless, I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel,” (v. 23-24) We can only see a single piece of the giant puzzle God is building for His glory. While life may not seem fair or just, remember you are only staring at one part. Trust the One that is holding your hand.
“And afterward receive me to glory.” (v 24b) Remember your end. It is not the vacations, cars, friends, money, or various other possessions that are the true measure of you. It’s “the fact” you’re are a child of the King, and God purchased you with a price far beyond gold. One day you will fall at your Father’s feet and what is truly valuable will become very clear.
When the beast rears its ugly head, remember, God is all you need!