From almost the very moment we are born, competition lurks around every corner. Even if you find yourself saying, “I’m not a competitive person,” I’m sure there has been some point in your life where you compared yourself to someone else. For example, “Our baby is DEFINITELY cuter than their baby,” “Is our kid as fast as their kid?” “Am I as smart as her?” “Do I talk, sing, dribble a basketball like him/her?” “Am I as skinny or as stylish?” “Is my car as shiny?”
Our Saviour taught about the Prodigal Son. I’m sure we’ve all heard the story, but as Elder Jeffry R. Holland points out, sometimes we get so caught up in the plight of the son who loses his way, that we forget the story of the second son. You know who I’m talking about. The son who was ever loyal, never faltered in duty, and was his father’s right-hand-man.
The point of the Second Son’s story is that yes, he was loyal. Yes, he was dependable, but when push came to shove, he himself was guilty of comparing himself to his wayward brother. As Elder Holland says, “the older brother lives in some confinement, too. He has, as yet, been unable to break out of the prison of himself. He is haunted by the green-eyed monster of jealousy. 2 He feels taken for granted by his father and disenfranchised by his brother, when neither is the case. He has fallen victim to a fictional affront.”
Do we not all fall victim, in some way or other, to these very things? Do we find ourselves saying, “Why does that person get that recognition when WE have done it all along?”
Elder Holland asks, “Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received? Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us? You and I both know who does this—it is the father of all lies. 3 It is Lucifer, our common enemy, whose cry down through the corridors of time is always and to everyone, ‘Give me thine honor.’”
It is hard to remember sometimes. I think for most people, if not everyone. It is so easy to find fault with ourselves or others around us. I think one of the most important things we can do is to be generous, uplifting, and supportive to those around us. Remember that we are ALL children of our Heavenly Father, doing the best we can to get back to Him. Our Father in Heaven sees us each, individually, as we TRULY are and loves each the same as the other. And so must we learn to see.
We are ALL apart of this race of life, but as Elder Holland so eloquently puts it, “The race is against SIN, not against each other.”
*Photo courtesy of sportscience-kathy.blogspot.com