“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always continue in the fear of the LORD.” (Proverbs 23:17)

Comparison consumes our gazes and steals our souls. When we look at what others have and what they have achieved, it’s easy for us to see how we stack up. If we’ve got more and done more than others, we feel great about ourselves, but if we’re coming up short we get discouraged or were driven to get ahead. Either way, we’ve lost our focus.

Ultimately, we live for an audience of One. God is the only One who is worthy of our affection and allegiance. When we compare ourselves with others, we quickly become consumed with pride or envy, and our passion for Christ quickly fades.

Solomon tells us that passion is a choice. He said, ” Don’t let your heart envy sinners.” Envy doesn’t just happen. It’s the result of choosing to look to compare and to desire more than we have so we can look better than we do. To make choice for godly passion, we need to value God’s purposes more than getting ahead of others and we need to care more about people’s souls including our own than anything.

As our hearts grasp the wonder, the majesty, and the mystery of knowing and following Christ, we realize that nothing else compares to Him. As long as we live in this world, the choice to focus on Him is never easy. But the focus is the product of habit and we can develop the habit of letting our minds and hearts soak up the riches of God instead of comparing the riches of this world.