Proverbs 23:17-18

Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but rather be zealous in fearing theĀ LordĀ all the time.
For surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.

I’m a do it once kind of a guy. I don’t like to go back and do things twice, so I do my best to make sure I’m doing them right the first time. I figure, it’s better to spend a little more time doing it the first time than it is to have to come back and do the whole thing over again. Some of this is born out of laziness, and I know that’s not a good thing. But, I don’t like to do things twice that should only be done once.

It’s easy to play the comparison game. Easy, but dangerous. Especially when we are envying people who have gotten ahead by cheating the system, by cutting corners and bending or breaking the rules. That’s a dangerous situation to get into. Easy, but dangerous.

They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day. And no, I’m sure it wasn’t. Doing things the right way takes time. There are things that have been done right that were done quickly, but for the most part, things done quickly don’t last. When people rush things, corners get cut and the rules get bent. And the end result is never as pleasing as it could have been. Because we had to get there quickly.

The real future, the kind of future that is worth getting to, is the one that you get to by going the right way. And the right way is by doing what is right, by taking your time and making sure the work you’re doing is worth being done. Otherwise, why bother with doing it at all.

When we play the comparison game, and compare our lives to the lives of those around us, it can drive us to want to start taking shortcuts to get ahead or at least catch up. But that is not who our hearts should envy.

Our hearts should envy God, and more of Him in our lives. For surely, in this – fearing the Lord – is where our future lies. Fearing the Lord is the right kind of future to build. Fearing the Lord is doing things right the first time. And when you do things right the first time, you’ll have a great future to look forward to. It’s not necessarily the easy way in the beginning, but it pays off in the end.