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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 (11)

I always feel like I could be a better mom. Do more crafts. Spend more time playing with my kids. We go places and have fun (usually prior to Covid) but when I’m at home house work districts me from my kids. I pray god touches my shoulder and tells me to slow down! Take a break. Enjoy life

I compare probably all aspects of my life with others. I recognize so many talents and gifts of others and often I fail to recognize my own. Sometimes, I feel as though my talents and gifts aren’t as good as others so I shy away from sharing them. I am a perfectionist and I find myself wishing I were better at xyz.

when it comes to my body i always critic myself and compare to others, whether its by hyping myself up or knocking myself down. i think that he is showing me that no matter how i look on the outside it doesn’t change who i am or how he treats me.

I constantly struggle with not feeling good enough and fighting for the approval of specific people to feel accepted. Realizing that my worth isn’t based on how pretty I am compared to someone else, or the shape of my body next to another is so important on my journey to truly believing what God says is true about me.

I can fall into both camps that Jamie mentioned if I’m being honest. On the one hand, I can look at my past and know without a doubt, that I am guilty of the sins in that long list in Romans. If I continually think of myself in this way and stay in that place of guilt and shame, I will become depressed. Conversely, if I look at my present and compare myself now to who I used to be, or with the morality of those around me, I will become prideful. It takes a constant reminder of God’s holiness and His justice, of seeing who He is as described in His Word to get me to a place of both humility and hope. I can confess how much I need a Savior, and immediately rejoice in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, knowing that He paid the penalty of my sin and brings me back into the presence of God!

I find myself in comparing myself to others. It starts wen I start comparing my past me to my now me. I look at how broken I was and how my sin overtook me, and without God in my life I was drowning. That will make me think of those around me and start comparing myself to them. In this regards I am trying to show I am not as bad as I used to be because I am not as bad as so and so. I have to remind myself that no matter how far I have come, and I don’t want to take away the transformation God has made in my life, I will never be able to reach my hand and touch Heaven. One of my favorite verses is Romans 5:8, where it talks about how God came for us while we were still sinners. While WE all were betraying him he came for us ALL. This reminds me of how great Gods love is and also that none are perfect except the one that came to save.

I compare myself to others when it comes to my performance, weather that be a job, sports, school, I do tend to compare myself to others.

I find myself comparing myself to others a lot, over things like; the amount of scripture I have or haven’t memorized to be able to just pull it out in moments fit, how much I publicly pray due to fear of my prayers not “sounding like, or not as wordy as theirs”, my inconsistency of finishing a personal bible study, the amount of joyful serving I do or don’t do as others, basically in all of these ways it boils down to comparing my works to others works which the Bible says does not save us.
I think God is trying to fix my eyes on him simply by nudging me to finish this study and the things he is continually showing me each day throughout the study.

Comparing personal belongings, clothes, houses, hair styles, nails – what do t I compare. Some of that gives me joy – or content. But if I stop comparing to others and look at God – I think he reminds me that it’s just "stuff" and that more joy and content I would be if I just stopped and listened. Observe my surroundings. Be thanksful for all.

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