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Comparing Apples to Eternity

Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

Matthew 25:45

Watch Session Two: Why We're Broken

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.

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Daily Question

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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Comments (13)

I compare myself to the earthly things of others. I look at their clothes, their jewelry, their hair, their homes, their home decor, their ability to spend money at the drop of a hat. What stuff do they have that seems to make them happy and what do I need to make myself equally as happy. My vanity rules me and it is all for not. Over the past month I would give absolutely every earthly thing I have, own, borrowed for and covet to have my husband back standing beside me. The one thing that I took for granted that would be there for me day in and day out was gone in the blink of an eye. His time on this earth came to an end suddenly. Taking with him all of my plans. God called him home and I wasn’t prepared for it. I had to surrender everything to God. All of my hopes, my plans, my wishes, my dreams, my wants, all of my earthly things had to be surrendered to God. Everything that I thought was important became very unimportant. God called me repeatedly to come to him and have a personal relationship with him. Not just know about Him but really see Him with my eyes. To experience Him in a way I’ve never experienced Him in my life. He is real! He is good! He is trustworthy! He is my father! He is my companion! He is my calm in the storm! He my peace that surpasses all understanding! He is my joy! He is my portion! He is my Waymaker!

God is trustworthy, and the lover of your soul! He will be your perfect peace when all is swirling about you!

oh goodness…. I really appreciate the reality check on this. I have a tendency to compare my acts of kindness or generosity to others. Its a sneaky mind trick because I’m not walking around thinking "how great am I because of all these things I did" but rather seeking constantly to do more. And isn’t that supposed to be good? Arn’t we called to be kind and generous? See how sneaky it is?!
I only ever realize this a problem on my own when I feel completely exhausted and defeated convinced that "I am not enough". Then I attempt to unwind myself. Inevitably eventually I fail again. God has been so gentle and patient in peeling back the layers on this one for years. Yet it wasn’t until just a few min ago reading this that it ever occurred to me I was using "the wrong measuring stick". My heart is always for him but my eyes were fixed on the point.

Comparison enters my mind on a regular basis. Then I question, why, why does it matter? I have gotten better as I grow older to not compare myself to others. Each person is unique and meant to be the way they are as God intended.

I was glad to be reminded that we are not here to compare ourselves to others. We are here because we,are all unique individuals who all need Jesus saving grace. I do compare myself to others and always have. I pray that I can stop and look to Jesus only and not to others.

So many ways! It is a struggle not to compare myself (positively or negatively) to others, from physical to social to spiritual. This week is helping to remind me that my goal isn’t what others on earth think of me, but how God views me and to strive toward His perfection.

Other people’s lives…I feel like I am not good enough since I am divorced. I struggle with self esteem daily. I look to God and how He loves us and try to learn to love myself and my blessings more.

Areas in my life that I compare myself to others would be: work, accomplishments, appearance. I used to compete with my friends on who “close” we were or how much we were together. God showed me this was a form of idolatry as I sought their affirmation and not His. I learned that lesson the hard way. I know pray for God to show other areas in my life are idols on how can I tear them down and look for Him.

I tend to compare myself in the way of spiritual fervor. I look at those around me and consider how hard they’re going in the paint for God, and how much harder or not I am in comparison. I have to remember that we all fall short of the glory of God, and there is no measurment of sin, essentially all sin is bad. Everyone is on their own journey, and only God truly can affirm someone’s heart, and motives.

I seem to compare myself to others in the area of accomplishments, energy, hard work, how I use my time. In this time of the Covid 19 pandemic He has gotten my attention with the extra time I now have at home. I take the time to be still, to stop and enjoy His creation. I don’t worry about getting everything done in a day. I truly can fix my eyes on Him instead and it feels so good!

Today’s lesson shows me how much time and energy I can spend in comparing myself to others. Whether it is about appearance, generosity, spiritual fervor or service it is time and energy that isn’t directed toward God. And it means I am either putting myself or someone else down.

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