Week 1: Wednesday
- Philippians 3:4–10
- Job 40:3–41:34
Questions to Consider
- What are some ways you compare yourself to others? Why?
- What is the danger of comparing yourself to others?
- What do you base your value on?
- Why does God value you? What does that mean to you?
Plan of Action
- Make a list of accomplishments you are proud of. Thank God for giving you the skill, talent, and ability to do these things.
- Consider if there is something you are doing in your life purely for the recognition that comes along with it. Give it up. Or repurpose your ambition to serve others.
- Praise God when others are able to accomplish more than you for God’s kingdom. Remember it’s not about you. It’s about God’s work which is bigger than any one of us.
There is always going to be someone better, someone more accomplished, someone more beautiful, someone more blessed, someone more skilled. If you continue to compare yourself you are going to find you never match up. It will seem like you are always lacking.
I am a “type A” personality and I strive to be good at everything I do. I am competitive and I want to be the best. It puts me on this never ending quest for perfection. Nothing is ever good enough. There is always some way to improve. There is always something to tweak.
There is this twinge I get inside my stomach when I see someone excelling in a way I am not able. There is a pain inside me where I feel as if I am not measuring up. I wonder what is wrong with me and ask why can’t I be like this other person.
A big reason for this is because I find my value in terms of how I am appreciated by others. I thrive on being complimented. My sin is I am making recognition by others my god. It becomes my idol. The problem is this god cannot provide for me in the way that Jesus provides. The love I get from this “god of recognition” is dependent upon my ability to excel.
While we want to give our best for God, there comes a time to stop. There is a time to take satisfaction in what we have done. Let God take care of the rest. Our work may not match up with the Joneses, but that is ok. We are not the Joneses and we probably don’t want to be the Joneses. The Joneses are likely agonizing over comparing themselves to the Smiths.
You are created by God. You are who you are. He loves you for who you are. You don’t need to be something you are not. His love is not based upon your accomplishment or your skill. You are beautiful and wonderful to him because he made you unique. You are his child.
The sooner you accept your limitations, the better off you will be. This is why the Apostle Paul writes:
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Philippians 3:7 (ESV)
As you come to the end of yourself, you discover the beginning of him. You cannot win at the game of comparison until you realize there is none like Jesus. No one can compare to him.
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8 (ESV)