Today’s Scripture: Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5

If you want to keep up with the Joneses, then you’ll have to pay for maintenance like the Joneses. Jaguar is a luxury carmaker which has earned a reputation for producing expensive cars (according to their website, Jaguar convertibles can cost from $69,000 – $138,000). Therefore, many people look at owning a Jaguar as a status symbol.

Status is what Marvin Jacobs wanted when he purchased his dream car, a Jaguar XJS convertible. The San Francisco lawyer soon discovered that the coveted car didn’t complete his life as he had hoped. In the article “Laws Serve Lemon-Aid to Car Buyers,” Blair Walker of USA Today reported that over the next three-and-a-half years, Jacobs had to take his car to the dealer 26 times because of problems. Once the sports car stalled on the Golden Gate Bridge during rush hour and backed up traffic for five miles.

Fortunately for Marvin, California’s lemon law forced Jaguar to buy the car back, but Marvin wasn’t disappointed. He said getting rid of the car was “the best thing that ever happened to me in my entire adult life.”

Imagine that you saved enough money to buy Marvin’s Jaguar from him. You would have the same status. Do you think that would make you complete? Think again. You’d also have the same problems. All the status that came with the car would mean nothing.

Do you see how empty it is to try keeping up with other people who seem to have more? It’s a waste of time because even if we tie the score, there are problems that come with the good fortune we crave. It is difficult to see these problems from an outsider’s perspective. Daniela Tempesta of Huffington Post writes in her article “Why You Should Stop Comparing Yourself to Others,” “If comparing is how you evaluate your worth, you will always be losing.”

No one wants to lose in life. The key to winning is to stop comparing ourselves with other people and start seeing ourselves as God sees us. He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ. He loves us. He accepts us. He has forgiven us. Let’s remember who we are, and we’ll see why life is so much clearer at ground level.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder