We do it every day. We think about all kinds of things from the perspective of comparison. Should I wear the blue shirt or the green shirt? Should we have salad or pizza for dinner? Is this the best sunscreen or is there one that might be safer? What is the benefit of one brand of car over another?
Comparison is in us. It empowers us to learn more about different topics and it often shapes our decisions. Yet, comparison can become a competition. When we begin to compare ourselves to each other we are trading the measuring stick that God intended for one that is man made.
In hoping to be as good as so and so down the street, or next door, or wherever; we are comparing man to man. We are measuring accomplishments. Our measure of success begins to be based on if we are keeping up. Are we doing enough, involved enough, giving enough? Are our kids smart enough, cool enough, athletic enough? Is our church fancy enough, big enough, good enough? The list goes on and on.
However, we should ask is God pleased with our lives? Do we represent him well? Do our comparisons bring him honor or do they put us in competition with one another?
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments. Matthew 22:37-40
Using the tool of comparison to make wise choices is healthy, yet when we begin to compare ourselves competitively we are either saying we are better or you aren’t good enough. Let’s instead choose to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Let’s celebrate the successes of those around us and let’s help each other when there are failures.
We could all use more grace and less competition.