A few years ago I woke up one morning, looked at my wife Martha and declared: “I want to start riding a motorcycle.” She responded, ever so gently, “you’re absolutely and completely nuts and this will pass.” But, thankfully, it didn’t.
Martha insisted that I take a riding class and I’m really glad I did because I learned a ton. One of the best pieces of riding advice I received was this: ride your ride. Whatever you do, just ride your ride. Do not compare yourself to any other rider. Just ride your ride within your limitations.
My riding advisor went on to tell me that plenty of bikers get into trouble when they try to ride like someone else in their group. They start comparing and get into big-time issues. Why? Our bikes are different. Our experience levels are different. Our ability is different. Our level of training is different. You just cannot compare yourself to other riders. Ride your ride and do not compare yourself, your bike and your ability to handle a curve to anyone else. Otherwise, you may find yourself in significant trouble. Ride your ride.
Opportunities to compare and envy are all around us. We all need reminders on how to ride our own rides without comparing ourselves, our children, our families, our churches, our marriages, our jobs, or whatever to someone else. The Lord reigns and He is in charge of who is in charge and who is responsible for what.
How is envy defined? Envy is an internal displeasure we feel because a particular person or group (someone or some group we perceive as a rival) has an advantage over us. When we look at that person or group, we feel like we are missing out on something.
Envy tends to be a very common trait in the person, or the group, who is insecure. Why? Because no matter how well you do something, there is always someone who can do it better.
So, what’s the solution? Find your rock solid point of stability and security. According to Jesus, He is that point of stability and security. Read what he says to Peter in John 21 – he says very simply, “stop comparing your walk, your circumstance, your assignment in life with anyone else and you focus on following me.” Because, after all, it is such a staggering privilege to be in the family of God that whatever happens to another person in comparison to me is neither here nor there.
And so, for the person you are prone to envy, I encourage you to pray for them, bless them, and go to every party that celebrates them. Their blessing is not your loss. Lean into the very opposite spirit of envy and you will find that God will honor your steps of faith.
Ride your ride and give God permission to let someone else ride theirs.