A Trifling Matter?


noun 1. a thing of little value or importance.

                      2. a cold dessert of sponge cake and fruit covered with layers of custard, jelly and              


             verb 1. Treat (someone or something) without seriousness or respect.

Sibling rivalry is as old as Cain and Abel in the Bible. And while most do not result in murder, there is a seed of violence in the heart of it. A cry for attention, love and glory. We all, at our core, desire to be the most loved, the favoured one. We seek our identity and hope in being at the top of the heap, having the power and control because we are afraid of missing out and being left behind.

I have three sons. Watching this rivalry play out over the years has been intriguing and instructive. The frequent jibes of, “Well, he’s your favourite!”, “You love him better than me.”, or “How come he gets to do—–?”, fill in the blank. As most parents do, I love my three boys equally and have strived against favouritism. And yet, the accusations flew.

Recently, my twin sons celebrated a birthday. They both have developed a love for Trifle and began requesting it every year instead of cake. I use the same amount of ingredients in each trifle bowl, but they have slightly different shapes. After serving the dishes, alight with candles, the battle began.

“You served more out of his bowl than mine!”

“His bowl is wider than mine.”

“His Trifle is bigger!”

While, as grown men, it has become a humorous tradition to compare and complain; it was a reminder of how, deep down inside, this fear lingers. We fear being less than, of missing out and feel like we need to fight for ourselves.

Like Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, we believe God is holding out on us and that He doesn’t have our best interests at heart. Then we decide we have to take matters-or apples or trifle-into our own hands. We fight and strive to be on top, envy filling our hearts with bitterness, fear, and restlessness. Discontent becomes our daily bread.

Are you constantly checking the size of cake your neighbour or co-worker has? Does it seem like the person in front of you at church has more Trifle in their bowl?

It is so easy for our eyes to focus on what others have and compare. Often we make comments in jest and laugh, but somewhere in the depths of our hearts lies a seed of doubt and fear. Fleeting thoughts and feelings of,

“Maybe God loves them better than me.”

“Maybe I am not good enough.”

“Maybe God isn’t who He says He is.”

“Maybe I need to do more to be loved and accepted.”

It is a part of our fallen nature. But we don’t have to stay down. Jesus came so that we can? could? stand up and fight off the lies of the Enemy. God came in human flesh to prove His love and show us the way to contentment and rest; in Him and Him alone.

The Lord does not love us just enough. He loves us lavishly and longs to bless us abundantly, starting with a deep personal relationship with Him. Because, in Him, we find all we genuinely want.

He woos us.

He loves us.

He fights for us.

He died for us.

And like the gracious, loving Father He is, He longs to bestow great blessings on us.

It is easy to get drawn in to old habits and ways of thinking, especially when surrounded by others doing it. That is why we need to soak our hearts, minds and souls, in the knowledge of who we are and who we belong to.


Pray. Spend time with the One who loves you so you will know Him.

Read your Bible. Reminding yourself about His truth and character.

Memorize your favourite verses. And repeat them to yourself when you need to be reminded.

Then, when the surrounding people compare, judge and measure each other, we will know our identity and where our hope is.

Envy is not a trifling matter. It is insidious and relentless, but we can choose to live victoriously in Christ, who strengthens us.

Be well!


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