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Sermon Notes

Genesis 4 / Numbers 12

Introduction

Screens play a big part in comparison.

“This deadly sin is more present in our everyday lives than ever before, thanks to social media. … Not only do we compare ourselves to friends and neighbors (as people have always done), but now, online, we measure up against people all over the globe, celebrities and strangers, friends of friends. One therapist, has coined this “comparisonitis,” an emotional sickness which can’t be intellectualized or curbed by willpower.”
Moya Sarner, The Guardian

– Not all comparison is bad or unhealthy. If our comparison drives us to admire a trait in someone, and motivates us to want to emulate them, it can be a force for good.

Comparison turned deadly (Cain & Abel, Genesis 4)

Envy: Comparison gone bad

– Comparison: at the root of Cain’s anger

– Most anger is self-anger. Unless it is reconciled, self-anger will take aim at others.

– God to Cain: “don’t let the anger of comparison – the competition over acceptance and affection for God destroy you.”

– To be human is to compare ourselves with others. Whenever you feel deprived, envy starts to grow.

– Jealousy is a fear, resentment or mistrust because I’m afraid I might lose what I already have.

– Envy is a comparison that says: I want what you have.

– The 10th commandment: “Do not covet” (Exodus 20)

What is it about envy that ignites such anger in God?

1 -Envy devalues my self worth

“The soul cannot be healthy when one compares himself or herself to others.” – Gordon MacDonald

2 -Envy distances us from God. (ch 12:9)

3 -Envy destroys community

The Antidote to Envy

1 -Isolate your envy zone

– Admit it: What is the area of comparison in me that leads to envy.

Put it into quarantine.

– Manage your response to what is on your screen

2 -Celebrate your God-given uniqueness and choices

Celebrate the gifts and opportunities of others

3 -Cultivate contentment and significance in God

Contentment is not a disposition you were born with but a decision you make. (Steve Furtick)

4 -Elevate your enjoyment of God

God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in him.
John Piper

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