COMPARISON OR GOAL — What are we focused on?
By Kurt J. Kolka
“We do not have the audacity to put ourselves in the same class or compare ourselves with some who [supply testimonials to] commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they lack wisdom and behave like fools. We, on the other hand, will not boast beyond our proper limit, but [will keep] within the limits of our commission (territory, authority) which God has granted to us as a measure, which reaches and includes even you.” — 2 Corinthians 10:12-13 (Amplified Bible)
I don’t know that there has ever been a time in life like today where people compare so much. For some reason, especially with the internet, people want to know how this compares to that, or wonder how they compare to others. There are websites where you can post a photo of yourself and others visiting can rate you.
I’m not saying that jealousy and comparisons are new. Probably, all of us do that. I know I used to do it way too often when I was younger and it only made me depressed. As soon as we head off down Comparison Trail, we step off the path created for us!
Yet, there does seem to be so much more comparing today. We post things we find appealing on Facebook and suddenly someone comes up with what they think is better and are willing to argue over it.
We weren’t created to be compared to those around us. Rather each was created by God with a purpose to fulfill. So, basically we are comparing apples to oranges whenever we compare ourselves with anyone else and feel jealousy or imperfection. David wrote about being an individual created by God in the Psalms.
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.”
—Psalm 139:13-18 (NIV)
Note how he ends the passage. He goes from talking about how God made him a unique individual to focusing his thoughts on God. God was his goal. His focus. The answers to each person’s life come from God.
We must first recognize, if we consider ourselves Christian, God does have a plan for our lives. There is a goal for us to follow. God is the finish line. In order to follow His plan, we must keep our eyes focused on Him. Not hopes and dreams, but on Him. Focus on God and He will lead you down the right path. The best way top do that is to begin each day with a Bible reading. Here is an excellent one for those who are seeking Him and His will.
“Now you [collectively] are Christ’s body, and individually [you are] members of it [each with his own special purpose and function]. So God has appointed and placed in the church [for His own use]: first apostles [chosen by Christ], second prophets
[those who foretell the future, those who speak a new message from God to the people]
, third teachers, then those who work miracles, then those with the gifts of healing, the helpers, the administrators, and speakers in various kinds of [unknown] tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire and strive for the greater gifts [if acquiring them is going to be your goal].” –1 Corinthians 12:27-31 (Amplified Bible)
We need to remember to keep our eyes focused on our God, not what people around us are doing. Only by following Jesus Christ can we understand ourselves and the purpose we were created for.