Right now, if you think of your closest friends, who is the smartest? Prettiest? Trendiest? Loudest? Richest? Strongest? Do you find it funny that we know the answer to these questions? Deep down inside of us in our human condition is the need to compare. We love sizing up a room to know where we stand. When it comes to issues of morality, we are no different. Since the beginning of time we have been saying things like, “Well at least I’m not as promiscuous as her.” “Well at least my gossiping isn’t as bad as her alcohol habit.” “At least when I sin no one gets hurt.” Or maybe your inner critic says, “I’ll never have it as together as her. My sins are more disgusting than hers,” or, “I wish my sin was anything other than this.” The problem with comparing our righteousness to others comes when we realize we are using the wrong measuring stick.
how we really measure
What if instead of comparing yourself to others, you tried to compare yourself to God? When we take our eyes off other broken people and place them onto the triune, we see how silly our comparisons were before. Imagine arguing with someone that you might have a millimeter of height on them and then realizing God’s height is higher than the heavens. Imagine trying to compare apples to oranges only to realize you were meant to compare apples to infinity. Do we even have words to quantify and qualify those comparisons? Our sin separates us completely from God, even if we think we have a leg up (or down) on our friends.
stop the lies; look to god
We can list so many reasons why comparison wrecks us. For starters, it robs us of joy, it causes us to commodify humans, it tempts us to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, and it makes us competitors when we are meant to be companions. But, more dangerously, the problem with comparison comes from demanding that we keep our eyes fixed on others and ourselves. Yet Scripture tells us no one is righteous (Romans 3:10). The longer we keep our eyes at earth level, the more destruction we tend to create. Instead, look to the heavens and ask yourself, “How do I measure up to his standard?” The gospel does not say that God comes to save us comparatively, in how we are doing compared to those around us. Instead, the gospel says every person needs total and perfect salvation to overcome our lack of righteousness.
In what areas of your life do you tend to compare yourself to others? How might God be trying to get you to fix your eyes on him instead?
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