Stop the Comparing

As humans there’s this temptation to see others and to either elevate ourselves or demean ourselves.

As humans who are in the image of God we have the ability to see and make judgements but God is able to go below the surface. He sees our heart and the intent of our motives. He knows our personal history and all the different ways we’re unique so stop superficially compare yourself to others. God’s standard isn’t your neighbor or your coworker or anyone else you know, God’s standard is Jesus. God’s standard is His word. Hebrews 4:12-13 says:

[12] For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. [13] And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

We see the outside, a person’s actions and behavior. But God sees the inner workings of the heart with all its motives and intentions. 

It’s like when Jesus told the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector and how they both went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee prays and tries to justify himself before God. He gives thanks to God that he is not like other people. And he begins to list off people that he thinks he’s better than and then starts telling God all the good things he’s done. The Pharisee was full of excuses, he thinks that God needs to receive him because he’s not like certain people and because he hasn’t done certain things.

The tax collector on the other hand, he had no excuses, he didn’t need to compare himself to anybody because he knew he was at the end of himself, he knew he was empty handed before God, that there was nothing he could bring to use as an excuse, he’s beating on his chest with his soul aching he says “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” 

Jesus then said that it was the tax collector who went home justified. Jesus finishes the parable by saying the one who tries to exalt himself will be humbled but the one who humbled himself will be exalted.

God is the perfect judge and his standard is perfect so stop comparing yourself to others and submit yourself to God’s word and receive his mercy and grace.

Prayer of Confession

Father, if we have recently compared ourselves to others to make ourselves feel better about ourselves or if we have compared ourselves to others to make us feel worse about ourselves or to feel bad about our situation and the lot you have given us then I just ask that you would give us the grace to get our eyes off other people and help us to see you… and by your truth through your spirit help us to confess our sins to you, may the Spirit shine the light of your word in our hearts. We now confess our individual sins to you in this silence. . . .

Father, your mercy and love is hard to understand in all it’s greatness. That you would send the eternal Son, Jesus, through whom all things were made and by whom the universe is held in place and in whom all life is found. You are life, in you we live and breath, and have our being. We thank you Father for the cross and that Jesus took all of our sins and payed the endless debt we had by his precious blood. We thank you for the Spirit you have given us, to help us in our walk and guide us in our life and to glorify your name. We thank you. In Jesus name. Amen.