There once was a contractor that had two good carpenters. The contractor gave them equal amount of work before he went on vacation saying: “I need you to finish installing cabinets in two homes along with the base boards, and if you can start framing the new house we just took on.” Both carpenters said: “Yes we will do that.”
The first carpenter was flying through the first house everything was going so well. He thought to himself: “Hey, if I can rip off these two houses pretty quick, then I can have a bit of a break before framing the other house.”
The second carpenter though struggled her way through the first house and had family related issues to boot. The first carpenter was aware of his co-workers problems but was unwilling to help, he thought to himself: “In comparison to her I am doing great. And anyways why do I need to help her, she wouldn’t help me out if I was in a jam!”
The contractor came back from vacation and called the two carpenters into his office for a meeting. The contractor addressed the second carpenter before she could even speak, he said: “I know you struggled with house number one because they gave you the wrong base boards and you had to wait two days for them to ship you the right ones. You also had to take time off because your husband has been diagnosed with cancer, I am so sorry. But you finished house number one and though your late going on house number two, everything seems to be running well. I want you to take time to be with your family and thank you for your hard work. You will always have a job here, so don’t worry I will help you.”
Then the contractor turned and said to the first carpenter with a rather stern tone: “You on the other hand refused to help your fellow co-worker, and you knew her circumstances, and you were ahead of schedule anyways! You were so far ahead of schedule if you wanted you could’ve framed house number three. Did you forget that you work for me? Did you forget that she is your co-worker not your competition? As a result of your selfishness our competitors have beat us to the punch on a couple of projects. Because you are only looking out for yourself, you can take time off and find another job!”
Measuring our success based upon others failures is a poor way of measuring success. When we want others to fail so that we will get noticed and promoted, we are, despite all the false humility and bravado, showing the selfishness of our hearts. Have you ever said to God: “Well hey at least I am not like them!” or “Compared to them I am doing quite well.” I tend to think God doesn’t buy that kind of posture.
What are your thoughts? Let’s dialogue!