Friday, January 14, 2022

The Bible Teaches Not To Compare Our Self With Others

2nd Corinthians 10:7-12, “Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's. For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present. For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”

This is such an important truth to learn dear friend. It is in our human nature to make comparisons. But the Bible says it is not a wise thing to do. The reasons why are endless! We all have different backgrounds, education, skills, resources, situations, health issues, talents, emotional baggage, problems, family struggles, et cetera. It is simply not fair to our self to compare our self to others. God has a unique plan laid out for each individual's life.

If I compare myself to other people, wondering why they have a life better than mine, then I might easily become upset and bitter. But if I focus only on Jesus Christ and His love for me, then it doesn't matter if other people seem to be prospering more than I am. Remember, somebody always has it better than we do, and someone always has it worse! We should be grateful for what we have (and don't have), and thank God at all times. Gratitude is a precursor to happiness. What saith the Scripture? ...

Hebrews 12:1-3, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

The only one to whom we should ever compare our self is the blessed Savior. Christ is our divine example. We should all strive to be more like our perfect Savior each and every day, by the grace of God. This is sanctification, being conformed day-by-day into the very image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). We are sanctified by the inspired Word of God (John 17:17).

It doesn't seem fair that some sinners live to be 90 years old, while other sinners only live to 14 years of age. Life is not fair!!! Why does one man have a submissive and pretty wife, while another man has a rebellious ugly wife, or no wife at all? Ecclesiastes 9:11 teaches that TIME AND CHANCE happeneth to all. It sure does! That is why one person loses their legs in a small car accident, while another person walks away unscathed after being hit head-on by an 18-wheeler truck! Go figure!

I saw a man after an accident who was impaled with a steel pipe through his skull, but made a full recovery. Yet, another man dropped dead from merely inhaling a whiff of shrimp that he was allergic to. Why is life and death so finicky and selective? The only answer is that time and chance happens to all of us, just as the Bible says. We simply don't know what a day may bring forth (Proverbs 27:1). I cannot explain why so many strange things happen in life. I just know that God is more than amazing. God is kind to the righteous, as well as to the evil and unthankful (Luke 6:35). Greatly to be praised is our merciful God!!! Micah 7:18, “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage?  he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

I used to feel bad that I didn't end up laboring as a pastor, which is what I went to Bible college to prepare for. But then I realized that my passion is preaching the truth, not administrating a church. God called me to be a preacher, not a pastor. Being a pastor is a position, not a calling. God called me to PREACH THE WORD, in season and out of season. God has blessed me with excellent Bible teachers; namely, Pastor Harry Ironside (1876-1951), Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001), Dr. Max D. Younce, Evangelist John R. Rice (1895-1980), Brother Lester Roloff (1914-1982), and other faithful servants of God.

I learned a long time ago that I shouldn't compare myself to these dear men, because they had different parental upbringings, life's circumstances, family situations, ministry opportunities and wives. All of those factors can have a big impact on one's life. So it is unwise for us to compare our life with that of someone else. God created each and every one of us as INDIVIDUALS. God doesn't expect me to be like anybody else, just me. It is important that we all embrace our own individuality, to become the individual that God intended for us to be. 

God didn't expect the Apostle Peter to be like John. God didn't expect James to be like Matthew, nor Mary to try to be like Luke. We are all uniquely made in the image of God alone. I know that I am very special, because God don't make junk! I was validated as a human being the day that I was born. I am somebody!!!

But wait, what saith the Scripture? Galatians 6:3, “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” I like something that Dr. Jack Hyles said in a sermon: “I know I am inferior, but I don't have an inferiority complex.” I think that is a good statement, to balance the equation. I know that God loves me, and I am special in the sight of my beloved Creator; yet at the same time I know that God is not a respecter of persons, and I am just a sinner saved by God's grace. There are no Big Shots in Christianity, only Little Shots! Dr. Hyles used to say that, and he was right. So I know that I am nothing on my own, but I am something special to my blessed Savior who laid down His life for my sins.

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