I love the phrase “comparisons are odious.” Why? Because it seemed that I always finished up on the wrong side of every comparison. So it raised the question for me, “What should be the basis of our comparisons?” I know from my own experience and from ministering to thousands of people in three different countries over 50 plus years, that to compare ourselves with other people, can be very destructive.
If we compare ourselves with other people, it can lead to pride and arrogance on our part. We can imagine ourselves to be vastly superior in looks, charm, attractiveness and intelligence, but we wonder why other people don’t recognise it as they should, when it must be so obvious! We might think! Wrongly!
OR, when comparing ourselves with others we can see ourselves as being vastly inferior in every way. They are better looking, more charming, more attractive and more intelligent. We think that everyone sees us in all our patheticness. The result is that because we think we don’t compare favourably with other people, we think we have nothing to offer! We are nobodies! We are just extras in the ongoing scenes of life while those “superior others” are playing all the main and supporting roles! We are just “also-rans!” In our opinion!
What is the answer? What is the true comparison we should make in life? I’ll try to put it in a simple sentence.
The only valid comparison I can make in life is how I compare now [by the grace of God], with how I should be now [by the grace of God] if I had loved and obeyed Him perfectly for every moment of my life!
That is enough to humble me for the rest of my life. But praise God, He can forgive all my past failures as I put my trust in what Christ did for me on the cross. Not only that, but He can transform me into the unique person He wants me to be, as I keep looking to Him for His grace and power. As St Paul wrote, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor 3:18. Becoming uniquely more and more like Him, the object of our adoration and love!
This true comparison makes me humble, knowing that I will never be as good as I could have been. But it also makes me expectant, knowing that as I yield myself to Him, the Lord will help me to become closer to the unique individual He wants me to be.
Blog 363 posted on Wednesday 29th July 2020.