Comparing yourself to others

We were on a mission trip to New Bern, NC last week with Samaritan’s Purse.  Samaritan’s Purse is there helping people recover from historic flooding last fall.  The insulation in the crawlspace had to be replaced.  Fortunately it had already been removed, but it was a tough job putting new insulation in.  The crawlspace was very small and aptly named. All you could do was crawl.  John was our construction site supervisor for the week.  John and I worked on the insulation, which required Tyvek coveralls and masks to protect us from the insulation. Upon seeing a picture of me that Bev took, my wife Diane said to me, “You look like the Easter bunny.”  Later, Diane saw a picture of John in his coveralls.  Enough time had elapsed that seeing the photo of me in my suit was not on her mind, and she said about John, “He looks like an astronaut”.

John is a tall, physically fit 30 year old.  A line from “Field of Dreams” comes to mind.  In the movie, dead people come back to life (at the age they were in the prime of life) to play baseball. When Kevin Costner’s adult character (Ray) saw his dad as a handsome young man, Ray said that he only knew his dad after he had been worn down by life.  It was an epiphany to see his dad as a young man.  John is at a season in his life that he looks like an astronaut.  I’ll admit it.  I showed the photos to a half dozen people in church yesterday morning and they agreed with Diane’s assessment.  John looked like an astronaut.  I did not.  It did not help that John had the suit with the blue patch where the NASA logo would be.  For the record, his patch did not say NASA.

We spend our lives comparing ourselves to others.  It happens at school and at work.  It happens at church and at the mission.  It happens on ball fields and in the stands at the ball fields.  As if it were not bad enough before, now it is infinitely more magnified on social media.

I always say about my singing, “If God wanted me to have a better voice, He would have given me one.”  I have the voice He gave me and He wants me to sing praises to Him.  And when the “He numbers the hairs on your head” scripture is mentioned, I am reminded there are not near as many for Him to keep track of as there used to be.  Yet, I am reminded in His Word and by His sacrifice, that I am loved and called Beloved by the Creator of the universe.  If we could only lay aside all the comparisons and focus on what God says about us, no comparison would bother us.  And no comparisons would cause us to be prideful!!  We can just as easily compare ourselves to others and look at others as inferior.

Honestly, I do not care that my wife said I look like a bunny.  She loves bunnies.  And I can agree that John looks like an astronaut in that photo.  Being a pastor, I understand that other pastors have different gifts than I do.  Some are more compassionate.  Some are smarter.  On the other hand, most are not as good at preparing a meal for a hundred people.

If you have confessed your sin and claimed forgiveness through the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ, you are a child of the King.  You lack nothing.  You are beloved.  There is “peace that surpasses understanding” to be found in that.

And to us who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope that is set before us in the gospel, how unutterably sweet is the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows us completely. No talebearer can inform on us, no enemy can make an accusation stick; no forgotten skeleton can come tumbling out of some bidden closet to abash us and expose our past; no unsuspected weakness in our characters can come to light to turn God away from us, since He knew us utterly before we knew Him and called us to Himself in the full knowledge of everything that was against us. “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” ~ A.W. Tozer






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1 Response to Comparing yourself to others

  1. Denny Mickey says:

    Thanks for the great messages Pastor Scott. I enjoy your insightful and inspiring posts.

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