Your Failure Makes Me Feel Better

Your Failure Makes Me Feel Better

You made the Nazirites drink wine . . . Amos 2:12

I’ve been wrestling with the same five pounds for the last couple months, some days winning the battle and some days losing it. I’ve known for a while that I needed to start a food diary, but I hate the idea, so I’ve been dragging my feet in getting there. When a friend told me of his recent success with a specific food diary then, I should have been happy. * I wasn’t. I was honestly a little annoyed by his success. It would have made me feel better if he had been failing as I had.

We’re like that. If we’re struggling with something, we don’t enjoy hearing of other’s achievements. Those suffering from infertility don’t want to hear about the joy of another’s pregnancy. When struggling with money, we don’t appreciate the financial success of friends.

Addicts are no different. While enslaved, we don’t want to hear about recovery. We want everyone to be as miserable as we are. We avoid those who are winning the battle, and we may even try to drag them down to our level, encouraging them to return to use.

This seems to be the offense described by the prophet Amos in today’s passage, where he loathed the Israelites desire to corrupt the pure. The Nazirites (Numbers 6) were those who chose to take a special vow to set themselves apart to follow God. This vow precluded them from drinking wine, but in the Israelite’s debauchery, they enticed the Nazirites to drink, causing them to abandon their vows.

This may be the height of our selfish destructive behavior: To not only turn from God, pursuing destruction, but to encourage others to do likewise – only to make us feel better about ourselves. When we find that others are succeeding where we are failing, we should choose to be happy and we should learn from them. How are you doing it? How can I get there? Instead of dragging others down to our level, we should use their accomplishments as inspiration to change ourselves. If we want to enjoy the satisfaction of success, we must stop celebrating failure.


*In the end, I was able to see that my friend was offering the help that I needed. I started the food diary and am now grateful. Thanks brother!

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  1. Sarah says:

    Misery loves company, right? 🙂 Not only do we need to be be more intentional about sharing the joy of other’s successes with them (as you pointed out) but it’s also important to be surrounding ourselves with people that aren’t encouraging/condoning sinful behavior – like Isreal was doing to the Nazirites. Equally important is to not be the person that is encouraging or even enabling that sinfulness, especially in an effort to make ourselves look better. We should be celebrating and inspiring others, because that is ultimately what’s going to make us feel better – not their failures.

    Good luck with your food diary! 🍩

    • Scott says:

      Thanks – about the food diary – I don’t like that I need it, but it’s good for me. You’re right. It is profoundly important that we purposefully spend time with those who are going in the same direction that we wish to go. I don’t want to insulate myself from the world, but I do need to take time every week to be with those who want the things that I want (the right things, I mean – not donuts).

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