BE WARY OF COMPARING! (Part I)

SCRIPTURE: “Let each person examine his own work, and then he can take pride in himself alone, and not compare himself with someone else.” Galatians 6:4 (CSB)
Throughout my life I must have received thousands of lessons from different sources—from parents to pulpits—about the downside of comparing myself to someone else. It’s one thing to comparison-SHOP for various goods and services—we want to stretch our hard-earned dollars and maximize benefits for ourselves and those of our household. Still, when the topic of comparing oneself to others comes up, we discover a sure recipe for discouragement and misguidance. We’ve likely been told from our earliest years that there’s always someone smarter, richer, stronger, more popular, more famous, more successful than we are! What should we do with that realization? Do we cease striving for excellence? Do we become indifferent to self-improvement? Do we succumb to laziness, or the irrationality of envy and covetousness? Do we simply drop out of the game entirely? Drop out of ministry? Out of the…whatever! (You get the point).

The God of heaven must know how prone we are to comparing ourselves with one another. Reflections on the lives some Old Testament personalities and quite a few 21 st century people can highlight the harm engendered by habitual comparisons. Re-examine the root of the relational and spiritual troubles that unfolded between Cain and Abel (Gen. 4:1-16), Kings Saul and David (1 Sam. chaps. 15-31), Jacob and Esau (Gen. 25:19-34 & 27:1-45), Leah and Rachel (Gen. 29:15-35), the older brother and prodigal son of Luke 15:11-32--- to name a few! A common thread through all of these relational narratives was the perception that another’s blessings from God exceeded one’s own. In each situation, it is easy to recognize that the person exhibiting resentment over another’s perceived advantages blamed God in their heart for their lack of blessings---whether or not they were conscious of this fact. King Saul’s endless comparisons of himself to David made his life a cautionary tale from which we may learn valuable lessons to this day about the discontentment and ensuing evil of succumbing to the comparison trap.

PRAYER: Lord God, we humbly thank You for being the Author of diversity—not as sinful man defines the word—but within Your divine standards of excellence. We need not be simple replicas of one another in the body of Christ to fulfill Your varied and endlessly wonderful purposes. AMEN!
By Sis. Denise Diggs

3 Comments


Paula - January 11th, 2023 at 11:51am

Thanks for this encouragement and admonishing. Let us praise God for the way He has gifted the body of Christ. And Lord, when I find myself jealous of another, I want to confess it as sin right away.

Novella D Carpenter - January 11th, 2023 at 9:05pm

Amen, and Amen, sister Diggs. Excellent illustrations of comparing from the Holy Scriptures.

Novella D Carpenter - January 13th, 2023 at 2:16am

Amen. Such an enlightened message in this devotional. Thanks for sharing.

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