The Pressure of Other People’s Things

Other people’s things, they entice me to more in a way that is not always healthy. They parade themselves in front of my simple life, and their voices shout into my ear that I need them. I should have them. They would be useful, or pretty, or maybe even indispensable.

Mind you, my life was completely fulfilled before I saw these other people’s things.

But they took on a life of their own, these other people’s things, and I opened myself up to comparison, and I seem to fall on the short end of things. Of other people’s things.

And then, I began to contemplate things that aren’t things that other people have. Like time. And careers. And disposable income.

But then, I realized that the pressure of other people’s things, it wasn’t made up of these other people’s things.  Neither of their things that aren’t things.

The danger of other people’s things, it is like a ball of yarn at the center of which there is a skewed thread of comparison all wrapped up into envy, covered up in layers of discontent. Rolled up around hatred and resentment. And that ball of yarn, it is like a bomb hidden right below the surface of the heart, ready to explode at any moment.

And that instantaneous moment of blowing up, it does not happen in an instant. It might have taken weeks, or months, or years to build. That moment of cracking under the pressure of other people’s things, it comes after the heart refuses to remember what really matters. After the eyes lost their focus on what is true over against what is seen and felt. After the soul forgets to eat its bread from heaven…

And that instantaneous moment of blowing up, it is not unavoidable. Because release from the danger of other people’s things, it belongs to the heart that lets itself be settled by the Master Tailor of all souls.  It belongs to those whose eyes turn away from empty staring and sharpen their focus on things that can’t be seen at first glance. This release from the pressure of other people’s things, it belongs to those whose souls have turned away from fruitless comparison, whose souls have chosen to give thanks for what is.

And the release produces a different sight in which the eye beholds the pain of other people’s things, and the dying because of other people’s things, and the nonexistence of other people’s things.

And all of this, it just drives me to my knees.

Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann Voskamp

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Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 HomeSDG, Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing HomePlay Dates with GodMonday Musings, Hear it on Sunday,Inspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s StoryInto the WordIn and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday,Titus2Tuesdays, ExtraordinayLessons from IvyDenise in BloomSweet BlessingsFaith Filled Friday, Finding JoyWholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word,




  1. “whose souls have chosen to give thanks for what is.” That’s it indeed. Other peoples’ things can’t make me happy because, well, because they’re other peoples’. My things are mine–given by God to me for me. So I give thanks for what is.


  2. I need to read this over and over and over. This, really, is the crux of Eve’s (man’s) original sin…that God has withheld something from me…that I know what will fulfill/satisfy/complete me better than God does…that He doesn’t have my best interests in His plan…that He really doesn’t love me! Thank you for shining a spotlight on this scheme of the devil.


    • I have been guilty of having these feelings from time to time. I am thankful that the Lord usually reveals to me that these things are not important…that what I do have, He has given me. Thank you for this post as a reminder of this.



  3. Hi visiting thru LGSS party – nice post, it’s easy to let the green eye monster get loose in your mind, then you just have to get to the place where you are happy with what you’ve got. That takes time and prayer. Thanks for your post!


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