Don’t Compare…. January 19, 2020
It is dangerous to compare yourself with others and believe that they have more value in life than you. We must remember, we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God, who has a purpose for every life he created. It is healthy to learn from and be inspired by others, but comparing might cause one to covet another person’s life and perceived blessings. God does not make mistakes even though at times it might be hard to understand his purpose and ways. It is important to remember that He is God, and in faith, we must believe that He is sovereign in all things. I believe it is also dangerous to compare one church to another church for the same reason as above. Another dangerous comparison is when someone might think they are better than someone else because of status, ability, being more religious, etc. Every person and church has value as measured by God and not by man. So how do we guard against comparing? It is difficult, for comparing seems to be a natural tendency. If a person doesn’t guard against the comparison, they can become angry, bitter, jealous, or arrogant, just to list a few of the results. The following is not a formula, but here are a few ways a person can battle the comparison game…. in which normally no one wins.
For you formed my inward parts: you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I PRAISE YOU, FOR I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14 ESV ……………… Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
I know in this world it may appear some are more blessed, have a better appearance, or __________ (fill in the blank). When we focus on the world and the outward appearance or perception of things, it can steal a person’s ability to live in peace and thankfulness. A person’s value IS NOT defined by this world, but by God. God believes every person had value enough to send His son to die for the purpose of redeeming what Satan destroyed. I admit myself that at times, it is difficult to be thankful when going through difficult times. Over the years however, when looking back, it was during the difficult times I felt closest to God. Why? Perhaps I spend more time with him in prayer than when times were supposedly going well. Don’t misunderstand; I do not like difficult times for they are unpleasant, but I have learned that in those times I now ask the question, “What is God teaching me or how will he use this in my life?” When a storm in life is over, sometimes I have an answer and sometimes I don’t, but this I know…. God will use it, for God is sovereign.
BE A SERVANT:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking a form of a servant. Philippians 2:5-7a ESV ……… Jesus came not to be served but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45 ESV….
God has called us to serve and to consider others as more important than ourselves. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourself. Philippians 2:3 ESV When a person thinks toward another that they are superior, this is not a servant’s mindset nor does it reflect Jesus’ presence in that person’s life. When being a servant, don’t keep score. If you do, then your reason for serving has a cost attached to it. This type of so-called service for a person or situation becomes employment because you are expecting something in return. Jesus died on the cross as a servant, knowing full well not everyone would believe and accept him as Savior; but he died being obedient to his Father. (Philippians 2:8)
Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things of the earth. Colossians 3:3 ESV We tend to view things from an earthly perspective because we have limited sight. God sees from a perspective such that we can only trust in Him in life situations. We see a person or our value based on what we perceive. Jesus told Peter and the other disciples of his coming suffering and death. Peter did not understand things from a heavenly perspective and took him aside and begin to rebuke him saying, “Far be it from you, Lord!! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hinderance to me. For you are NOT SETTING YOUR MIND ON THE THINGS OF GOD, but the things of man. Matthew 16:22-23 ESV Comparisons can be dangerous because we are looking only at what we can see, and we must trust God and His ultimate purpose in all situations…..even in life’s most difficult situations. I know this is easier said than done, but do not look beyond what God has given you the ability to see…. It is called faith.
In any area of life, if you have improperly compared yourself to another or have exalted yourself above someone ,then ask forgiveness. Thank God for His forgiveness, and for creating you in his image. Seek areas of service… don’t wait to be asked……. for God did not redeem you to just sit but to serve. Seek only the things of God and the ability he will give you to see His plans, and if you can’t see his purpose at the moment, trust him…. It is called faith. This application does not always come easy so be honest with God, for He already knows your struggles. You may cry for understanding. With the Lord’s help, it is my belief that in doing so, you are seeking the things above.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David