How are you doing? Compared to what? We learn very early in life to make comparisons: I like ice cream better than I like turnips. He’s taller than I am. Going to school is ok, but vacations are better!
· We learn all sorts of types of comparisons: Things that are bigger, things that we like better, things that are more fun, things that we want to avoid.
· Then, at some point we begin to make values comparisons: I’m smarter than you. He’s better looking than I am. They are acceptable and I’m not.
Paul says that when we begin making values comparisons using ourselves as the standard of measurement, we’re not wise! Here are some practical reasons comparing ourselves with others is unwise:
Comparing sets a wrongly-based standard of measurement. Whether it’s appearance, popularity, achievement, or wealth, it’s not God’s standard.
Comparing leads to pride or humiliation. If we measure higher on the scale than the others, we feel prideful and superior. If we don’t measure up, we feel inferior.
Comparing requires us to justify or make excuses. In many cases we justify our sense of superiority or make excuses for why we don’t measure up well. Both outcomes are harmful.
Comparing weakens initiative and creativity. Comparison applies a standard of measure that doesn’t fit the uniqueness God created in us and the specific calling he has given us. How can that be a good thing?!
Friends, let’s make the effort to find God’s standard of measure, the one that fits who he made us to be. Then let’s compare ourselves to that. We can compare ourselves to how we used to be and feel better. And we can compare to what we can be and feel challenged! In any case, it’s better than comparing ourselves to others!
Father, I believe you made me to be me and not someone else. Please forgive me for my tendency to compare myself with others. I don’t like the pride nor the humiliation of that and I know you don’t either. Help me find and measure to your standard alone.
Reading: 2 Corinthians 10; Psalm 33
Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant! (2 Corinthians 10:12 NLT)
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