Sibling Rivalry among Christians

jellyContinued from here.

Sadly, this tendency to compare oneself to others is not limited to the secular realm regarding what we are being paid by our employers. I even see this dynamic within the church in regards to comparing one person’s relationship with God to another’s. This reminds me of the sibling rivalry that is so common within families. Two or more siblings grow up in the same home with the same parents and make one other miserable by comparing how one is treated versus another.

I used to do this myself. As the older sibling, I was frustrated that I would have to wait to be a particular age to do X, but then my younger sister would be allowed to do the same thing at the same time – or at least at a younger age than I had to be – and it made me angry. The reality is that regardless of when my younger sister was permitted to do something, I still had to wait the same length of time. That timing did not change based upon whenever she got to do X, but I could not see it, and my comparison robbed my joy.

Sadly, many Christians appear to struggle with “sibling rivalry” within the family of God, with me being no exception. As an example, it took me intensely praying day after day, week after week, and month after month for well over a year to forgive my childhood abusers and experience God’s healing. This was after I had been a Christian for decades. I heard the testimony of a new Christian who forgave his abusers within a few weeks and experienced God’s healing rapidly, and that irked me … not that I wasn’t happy that this guy experienced God’s freedom but that I had to work so much harder to reach the same place while it didn’t seem to take much effort from him by comparison. However, whether it took this man 3 days or 3 decades to forgive his abusers had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with how long my process took me, so what was the point is comparing our situations?

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace reaching out of a large jar of grape jelly with the label, “So Jelly.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]