Is the Grass Really Greener?
Does it ever seem like non-Christians have it easier than Christians? I get that. I have felt a tinge of jealousy myself from time to time when I look at the lives of non-believers around me.
I find this to be especially true of celebrities. Before I go there, let me take a moment to clarify that not all celebrities are non-believers. We can't assume that because someone is rich or famous that they don't know Jesus as their Savior. But some of them aren't Christians and when I look at their perfect looks, huge houses, fancy cars, and exciting schedules, there is a part of me that thinks their lives must be more carefree than mine. There are other times when sin seems like the easy road. Other times I get tired of living counterculturally. I would rather go with the flow than continue to swim upstream.
But the truth is, life without Jesus is anything but easy. Appearances deceive us when the lives of unbelievers seem easier and more carefree than our own.
Solomon understood this truth.
If you were making a list of the top ten biggest stars 3,000 years ago, King Solomon would top the list. Solomon was the third king of Israel and was chosen to rule by his father, David. The Bible records that Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. Solomon was the ultimate celebrity. He had it all-intellect, power, wealth, and popularity. He also has much to teach us about the value of these "treasures."
Solomon sampled everything that he thought would give his life meaning and substance. Money, pleasure, and fame were all available to him. In Ecclesiastes 2:10 Solomon wrote:
I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.
But did all of that pleasure equate to a better life? Not so much.
In Ecclesiastes 1:2, Solomon writes: "‘Meaningless! Meaningless!' says the Teacher. 'Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.'"
In other words, his neighbor's grass was brown and needed to be mowed.
It is critical for us to remember that the freedom to sin doesn't lead to an easier life. In fact, sin always leads to bondage. The ability to indulge in the pleasures of this world won't make your life easier. Solomon tried it. At the end of that road he declared it all meaningless.
Fast forward to today. Living the life that the culture upholds won't give you lasting happiness. Just look at the details of the lives of non-Christians you know. They have troubles, challenges, and sorrows just like us. The things that culture promises to bring fulfillment rarely deliver. Money, fame, beauty, and power ultimately slip through our fingers.
The truth of the matter is that the grass is greenest on our side of the fence. Through Jesus we are able to have peace, hope, joy, purpose, and the promise of life in heaven with Him!
So the next time you find yourself wishing for a life untethered to your faith in Christ, the next time you are tempted to flirt with the pleasures of this world just to see if they are better than what you've got, the next time you find yourself longing for the lifestyles of the rich and famous—take time to reflect on all that God offers you as His child.
Don't longingly look over the fence at the world and imagine what you are missing. Remember Solomon's warning that as alluring as it seems ultimately it's meaningless, and praise God for the bright green grass between your toes.