The Grass Is Always Greener — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

The Grass Is Always Greener — Morning Devotions

How often do you look at other people and feel they are more fortunate than you are? But do we truly know what is going on in people's lives?

By Chris WittsTuesday 25 Apr 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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This is a well-known saying, and it really refers to the way we tend to look at other people’s lives and other things we don’t have, usually through rose coloured glasses. It originally comes from the idea of looking at a neighbour’s lawn and seeing it a better, healthier and greener than your own lawn .. but in reality it’s not. And so, how often do we look at other people and think they are more fortunate than we are ..why?

Because we’re not very satisfied with who we are and what we’ve got.. that others always seem to be in a better situation than you are … although in reality they may not be. Remember Petula Clarke’s song “The other man’s grass is always greener”

“Life is never what it seems we’re always searching in our dreams to find that little castle in the air. When worry starts to cloud the mind, It’s hard to leave it all behind and just pretend you haven’t got a care. There’s someone else in your imagination, you wish that you were standing in their shoes. You’d change your life without much hesitation. But would you if you really had to choose? So, don’t look around, get your feet on the ground, it’s much better by far to be just who you are. The other man’s grass is always greener, the sun shines brighter on the other side. The other man’s grass is always greener, some are lucky, some are not. But just be thankful for what you’ve got.”

I heard the story of the ring-tailed monkeys in Africa, who are caught and brought to the zoos in the US. They are one of the hardest animals to catch. But the Zulus have found an easy way to catch them. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. The seeds of this melon are the favourite of the monkey and the Zulus know that. They cut a hole in the melon, just large enough for the monkey to put his hand in to reach the seeds inside. He puts in his hand, grabs as many seeds as he can, and starts to withdraw, but he can’t. His fist is now larger than the hole. Despite all the screeching and fighting, he can’t get his fist out. He won’t give up, and meanwhile the Zulus sneak up behind and grab him. The monkeys are not content with food that is reachable – they look for better food.

Why do we struggle with issues of life, and not having what others have?

Do we really believe the grass is always greener on the other side? We end up believing that other people have the good stuff and then feeling depressed, anxious,and persecuted by the belief that we have so little.  We are taken over by greed, wanting more and more and more,feeling that what we have cannot ever be enough. We lose focus, self-confidence, and hope, all because we want to be like someone else. That’s why some move to a new location or try for a new job,thinking all their problems will go away with a new change. It doesn’t always work out that way.

I’ve quoted before from Robert Fulghum’s classic book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” and he says .. “The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. No, not at all. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you are.”

Why do we so often groan and say “if only I had this or that” ..But I look at Psalm 73 and see the Psalmist say “I almost stumbled and fell because it made me jealous to see proud and evil people and to watch them prosper. They don’t have troubles like everyone else”.  But he was wrong. He thought it was greener on the other side.

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Someone once said if we all wrote down our trials and struggles on paper and passed the papers around so we could see the other’s struggles (that we might not know about otherwise), we’d end up picking our own struggles back. Because you never know the intense problems and issues other people are experiencing, as you look at them and feel envious. Instead learn to appreciate life in the everyday and the things you already have. Be grateful, because the more grateful you are, the more things you can think of to be grateful about.

The Apostle Paul had discovered an important truth in Philippians 4 “I have learned to be satisfied with whatever I have”. (v11). Why did he say that? He said “Christ gives me the strength to face anything” (v13). A relationship with Jesus means you can be realistic about life and your situation, not hoping and wishing for something else.  In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 we read “always be joyful and never stop praying. Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do”.  This means God has a plan for your life, and if you trust Him – He will show you.