Have you ever noticed how children love things that shine? Children seem to be drawn to those things because of their sparkle, shine, and light.
Why is that?
I think it’s because whatever is shining, causes wonder. A child, who is also full of light, is drawn towards something that is equally shiny and sparkly.
You’ve heard it said before, but light attracts MORE light! And as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have the beautiful blessing of having that light with us AT ALL TIMES.
Can you believe that?! We get this beautiful and wonderful blessing of having the light of Christ within us always – as long as we are living worthily. And I’m sure you’ve heard the stories before – of people who are of other religions and faiths who see a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. And how those persons are drawn to members of our church because of our LIGHT. Oftentimes, those nonmembers don’t even recognize why they are being drawn to us. They can’t always recognize that it is because of our light. They just… are.
Christ IS light. He always will be! So it seems only natural that He would bless the members of His church with that same light.
So why is it then, that as children grow into teens and later adults, that people around us, or even members of our same church, begin to actively destroy light? Why do people look at someone who has so much light, and seek to tear them down?
Why do we throw rocks at things that shine, when only a few short years ago… we were captivated by that same light?
As a child, it is so easy to be excited for other people when they are successful – when they shine! So what has changed? Why, as adults now, do we hate on those that shine? Why do we put them down? Why are we continuously looking for the negative or the faults in that person – as if that somehow diminishes all they have accomplished?
Don’t mind me quoting Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf when I say… STOP IT!
Stop comparing! Stop throwing rocks! Because guess what? It HURTS. Not only does it hurt the person being put down, it hurts you too! Just because someone is having success, doesn’t diminish or lessen your light and all you have accomplished thus far. Instead of letting the ugly green monster of jealousy take over your heart, (which by the way, is a feeling from Satan, not God) let God into your heart instead! Let God’s love for that person encompass your heart and mind. And instead of seeing all you haven’t done in comparison, be happy for His children’s success. I promise that as you seek to be genuinely and truly happy for others, more light will come into your own life.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke on this same topic in his talk, “The Other Prodigal.” In this discourse, Elder Holland explains that while the younger brother was the “Prodigal Son,” there was possibly another… the older son.
When the older son had come home from working dutifully in the fields, he heard sounds of music and laughter coming from within. He asked a servant what all the ruckus was about, and the servant responded by saying his younger brother had come home.
Do you remember how the older son reacted? Angry. He was angry. Not so much about the fact that his younger brother was home, but that his parents were so happy about it. He was so overcome with anger that he would not go into the house.
“Certainly this younger brother had been a prisoner—a prisoner of sin, stupidity, and a pigsty. But the older brother lives in some confinement, too. He has, as yet, been unable to break out of the prison of himself. He is haunted by the green-eyed monster of jealousy. He feels taken for granted by his father and disenfranchised by his brother, when neither is the case. He has fallen victim to a fictional affront. As such he is like Tantalus of Greek mythology—he is up to his chin in water, but he remains thirsty nevertheless. One who has heretofore presumably been very happy with his life and content with his good fortune suddenly feels very unhappy simply because another has had some good fortune as well.
Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received? Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us? You and I both know who does this—it is the father of all lies. It is Lucifer, our common enemy, whose cry down through the corridors of time is always and to everyone, ‘Give me thine honor.’”
Comparison is the THEIF of joy! So even though Heavenly Father is blessing someone else with success, that doesn’t lessen the value of the blessings you’ve already received. Like Elder Holland said, just because He is smiling on someone else, doesn’t mean he is frowning on you!
So, STOP IT. Stop comparing. Stop throwing rocks. Instead, be HAPPY for other people. Be excited! Be supportive! Their light doesn’t take away any of your own light. In fact, it only increases the volume of light in the world. And shouldn’t that be celebrated instead of attacked?
When someone does something wonderful that increases their own light, congratulate them! Don’t scroll past and roll your eyes. And don’t think of all the reasons why they don’t deserve it. And if it is a family member, please do not put them down and brush their accomplishments under the rug. Families were created by God to be a support group and confidant during successful and trying times. Families were created to be loyal and to encourage each other to be better. Families were created to be a safe haven from the world, not to invite the world in.
If you find yourself automatically seeking out the negative in others when they are successful, pray. Pray for charity. Pray for love. Pray to feel happy – genuinely and truly happy – for them. As you celebrate more and more what others around you are doing, you will be happier with yourself and content with your circumstances as well.
Be HAPPY for other people! Be excited! Be supportive! Because it is SO AWESOME when Heavenly Father’s children are successful… don’t you think?