Being Blessed vs. Being Stressed!

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The last few weeks, I have been paying keen attention to the griping tendency in most of us to use the yardstick of our self righteousness to compare and contrast what we receive from God in light of what we feel we should get. The key highlight to this process of measurement is the presence of "the others" in our lives, a comparison with whom, either leaves us feeling blessed or feeling stressed as a result of our expectation versus outcome. As I choose to parallel this human tendency within us to what the Scriptures reveal, I cannot but feel prompted to use the parable of the labourers in the vineyard to present my case. So to begin with, the parable speaks of an owner of a vineyard who goes out into the market in the early hour of day, finds some labourers standing idle and calls them to work for him, promising them a day's wage in return. The story goes on to share a repetition of this instance again during the day up to the last hour in the evening wherein labourers were called to the vineyard and were promised to be paid in return. We then read, how when it was time to receive their wages, the early birds saw the late lurkers getting paid the same as what they got and felt unfair about what was given. It would be hard to not be able to relate their situation to current day reality! A simple example that springs up in my mind is the concept of 'equity theory' that I studied in my management class. Equity is established in us, not just by measuring the outcome of our efforts to our input, but also by comparing it to the outcome of others around us in identical situations. "I don't smoke or drink or do drugs! I don't hang out in expensive places or do things most guys my age do! I try to study and struggle so hard to keep my image in class. Yet, how is it that, "that guy," with all his vices and prodigal lifestyle, still manages to score so well and be so

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