Don't Compare Your Life With That Of Others
By David J. Stewart | October 2012
2nd Corinthians 10:12, “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.”
The Bible teaches that it is unwise to compare ourselves with others. Everybody's life is different, very different in many cases. God has a different and unique plan laid out for each of our lives. God doesn't make the choices for us, but He in His foreknowledge knew what choices we would make, and ordered our steps accordingly.
Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” In other words. God takes the lemons in the believer's life and makes lemonade out of them. God takes even our mistakes and failures and uses them for His divine glory and purpose, so that ALL THINGS will work together for good as Romans 8:28 promises.
The apostle Paul had a VERY different life than did the other apostles. Luke was a medical doctor. Matthew was a former tax-collector. Peter was a fisherman. Paul was a tent-maker by trade and made tents as a side-job to support his ministry. Peter was married (it is a lie that Catholic priests are Biblically not supposed to get married. The Bible teaches that marriage is honorable in all, that is, between a man and a wife, Hebrews 13:4). Paul was loosed from a wife (whether by death or divorce we do not know). James was beheaded, but Peter was delivered (Acts 12:1-8). The most dangerous question that you'll ever ask God is “why.” Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us not to lean unto our own understanding; but rather, to trust upon the Lord with all our heart.
I love Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Don't miss that... THE LIFE WHICH I NOW LIVE IN THE FLESH I LIVE BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD. Don't compare what you are with what others are. Don't wonder why their life is working out and yours is not. Don't wonder if God loves them more than you. DON'T COMPARE! The Bible says it is UNWISE to compare, because there are millions of variables.
Lazarus was a beggar, totally poor, and the dogs licked his sores. Lazarus must have been a real loser, right? That's what many people today would consider him. In sharp contrast, the rich man had so much wealth that he couldn't contain it all. So he decided to expand his property and build bigger buildings. Boy, the rich man was a real winner by worldly standards. I'll bet often that Lazarus wished he could have all the wealth, delicious delicacies and good times that the rich man had.
Luke 16:19-31 teaches that the rich man died and plunged into the fires of Hell beneath; but Lazarus died and was escorted by glorious angels to the paradise of Heaven to be with the Lord and live in eternal wealth, abundance and happiness. Lazarus was a born-again Christian; but the rich man didn't think that He needed anything more than his riches, so he never sought God in his life. No wonder Jesus warned that hardly any rich people shall enter into Heaven. Mark 10:23, “And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!” If you have more than you need in life, you are rich. Americans are very rich people.
Look and you will see, that the people who blaspheme God and reject His only begotten Son the most are usually the rich, healthy and famous people of this world. It's often the blind, deaf, maimed, retarded and afflicted who are often rich in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That's why Jesus said it would be better to enter into Heaven with one arm, or one eye, than to enter into Hell whole (Matthew 18:9). Healthy and wealthy people are the ones who reject Christ the most! They think they already have heaven on earth, so what else could they ever need, right? Woe unto the wealthy!
I thank God for my problematic life. I thank God for my hardships, burdens and permanent health afflictions, which keep me humble and compel me to set my affection on things above...
Colossians 3:1-4, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”
Another example of why it is unwise to compare is found in the account of the Pharisee and the publican who went up to the temple to pray...
Luke 18:9-14, “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
We Ought To Compare Our Self Only With The Word Of God
We ought to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES as Jesus commanded in John 5:39 and make the Bible our standard for living. I've been listening to the audio Bible by Alexander Scourby on DVD a lot lately. I have listened to the New Testament three times this past week. As I hear Scripture after Scripture, I feel so totally inadequate, inferior and a big failure at being all that God wants me to be (and you should feel the same if you're right with God). Only a self-righteous person would dare claim to measure up to God's holy standard of the Bible. If we compare ourselves with others, we can easily become self-righteous. But if we compare our self to the Bible we will always see our self as a sinner with room for improvement.
As I felt bad, convicted by the abundance of Scripture passages I had heard, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said in a still, small, quiet voice... “Good, that's exactly how you should feel in comparison to the holy Bible. You should feel sinful, dirty and unclean, inadequate and in desperate need of God's help in every area of your life. You should feel like there's incredible room for growth and improvement, even impossibly so. That is how much even the best of Christians fall short of God's perfection.” My friend, the more that we abide in the Scriptures, the more we are going to feel inadequate, inferior, sinful and hopelessly unable to live up to all that God expects of us.
The apostle Paul spoke of his daily battle with the flesh, struggling inside to do what is right in God's sight, failing often (Romans 7:14-25). This is every believer's testimony if they are pleasing to the Lord. Proverb 24:16, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” If you're not falling continually as a Christian believer, it's only because you haven't gotten back up and are continually living in sin. Those immature believers, or backslidden believers who are filled with their own ways, won't understand what I am talking about. There is no struggle if you don't at least make an attempt to live right. Proverb 14:14, “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.” The sinful world are filled with their own ways. END
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