Have you ever heard the phrase, “Keep up with the Joneses?” This term originated with Arthur (Pop) Momand’s Keep Up With The Joneses comic strip in the New York Globe. The strip was first published in 1913 and became popular quite quickly. The ‘Joneses’ in the cartoon weren’t based on anyone in particular, and they weren’t portrayed in the cartoon itself. Jones was a very common name and ‘the Joneses’ was merely a generic name for ‘the neighbors’. Society today is caught up in the comparison game.
While the term to “keep up with the Joneses” may have begun in the 1900’s, it still seems to be the goal of many. Children compare clothes, electronics and curfews. Adults compare cars, vacations and promotions, while smiling and patting each other on the back.
Work and moral ethics may be compromised because “my boss does it” or “the guy at church does it.” But you and I both know that doesn’t make it right. Too many times we justify our actions because we are comparing ourselves to the wrong measure. God’s Word gives us the proper standard; all else will fall short of the goal.
Sometimes life requires us to stand up and be counted. Face it – there will ALWAYS be someone who has more money, a more palatial estate, or perhaps, looks better than you. Sometimes we must choose between immediate gratification or a denial of self. Sometimes we simply must go against the grain because our goal is to please God, not man or even ourselves. In the long run we will be a better person and will be blessed for it.