Isabel Wolseley writes in Daily Guideposts, 2002 that she felt inadequate and envious during her senior year of high school. Her classmates seemed to “have it all.” They had the right clothes, friends galore, top grades, and self-assurance. They were the ones chosen for school plays, as class officers, for special projects. Now, of course, they were receiving all the end-of-the-year awards. Isabel, who lived on a farm and whose family was less well-off than many of her classmates, had never even been nominated for an award.
It was decades later that Isabel finally got the nerve to attend a high school reunion. When she arrived and began talking to her old classmates, Isabel made a shocking discovery—she wasn’t the only one who felt inadequate back then. As one friend put it, “You lived on a farm! You had a Shetland pony to ride. A haymow to play in. Now you’re a writer and you travel all the time. I’ve always envied you!”
It is said that comparison is the root of all feelings of inadequacy. We will always come up short when we weigh our most embarrassing shortcomings against someone else’s greatest assets. We parents need to help our kids understand this concept. Scripture warns that “envy rots the bones” (Proverbs 14:30). Let’s encourage our children, instead of dwelling on others who “have it all,” to give thanks to God for loving us and preparing a place for each of us as members of His holy family.