Skip to main content

Lay Aside the Weight of Prideful Comparison

By the grace of God I am what I am. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
God made you to be you.
You have the body God gave you — with all its genetic capacities and limitations (Psalm 139:13). You were born at the time and place he determined (Acts 17:26).
And if you’re a Christian, he has called you out of darkness into light (Ephesians 5:8). God considers you a necessary part of Christ’s body, the Church (1 Corinthians 12:27), and he has given you particular gifts to use for the sake of this body — along with a measured amount of grace for using them (Romans 12:6).

Battling Comparison

That means the life that you have is a sacred calling (1 Corinthians 7:17). By the grace of God, you are what you are (1 Corinthians 15:10).
It also means that the lives others have are sacred callings by the grace of God. And some of those saints have received sacred callings resulting in greater levels of gifting and prominence than yours.
And this means that you and I frequently must battle against comparing ourselves with others.

Hijacked by Pride

Comparison is not inherently sinful. In fact, the Bible wants us to be “imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12). Imitation requires comparison.
But if we are not vigilant and ruthlessly pursuing humility, pride will hijack comparison. Pride wants glory for the self and sees others not as necessary parts of Christ’s body carrying out sacred callings, but as threats to self-glory. When pride rules comparison, jealousy and selfish ambition result (James 3:16).

A Weight to Lay Aside

We can tell this is happening in us when we look at others and don’t see the grace of God, but reflections of our own inferiority. We don’t see them as windows into God’s glory, but as mirrors into which we are asking, “Who’s the fairest one of all?” — and we know it’s not us.
The resulting discouragement becomes like an iron ball on our spiritual leg making it very hard to run. Which means prideful comparison is a weight we must lay aside (Hebrews 12:1).
How do we do that?

Name the Craving

When you feel that familiar discouragement — that faith-depleting, courage-sapping self-pity that that tells you that you’re a loser — don’t be passive. Pride and Satan are conspiring to abort your race. It’s war.
It might feel like a general discouragement, but there’s something specific you’re believing that’s giving life to this discouragement. Develop the habit of asking your soul questions. “Why are you cast down, O my soul?” (Psalm 42:5). Make yourself put it into words. Be specific (don’t just accept “I don’t do anything well”). Name what it is that you crave.

Repent

As soon as you recognize a desire for self-glory, repent. Lay it aside. It’s an idolatrous, God-belittling, joy-destroying sin. Call it what it is, and God will forgive you (1 John 1:9) and give you grace (James 4:6).

Feed Your Weary Soul Nourishing Promises

Pride-fueled jealousy and selfish ambition leave the soul empty and tired. But the promises of God believed immediately produce the energy of hope. Eat promises like these:
Jesus chose you and appointed you: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you” (John 15:16).
God will equip you — “with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ” (Hebrews 13:21).
God will always provide sufficient grace for you: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (1 Corinthians 12:9).
God sees and rewards faithful, obscure labors for him: “Your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).
God assesses the heart, not outward impressiveness: “The Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
God will complete the work he began in you: “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Jesus will always be with you: “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

Serve in the Strength God Supplies

Get back in the faith race! Carry on with your serving! Don’t be immobilized by less than pure motives. Nothing you do this side of glory will be perfectly pure. Everything is sanctified by work of Jesus. Serve in the strength that God supplies (1 Peter 4:11), according to the grace he’s given to you (Romans 12:6), in the sacred calling he has on your life (1 Corinthians 7:17).
Let’s resolve again today to lay aside the weight of prideful comparison, doing “nothing from selfish ambition or conceit” (Philippians 2:3), but in humble faith, remaining “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord [our] labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

By John bloom - Desiringgod.org

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

When God turns a deaf ear on prayers

Does God always hear people’s prayers, or do some pray in vain thinking that God hears them, when in reality He chooses to turn a deaf hear to their cries? Some may perhaps have a notion that all prayers are worthy, and God being who He is is by nature willing to listen and hear their prayers delightfully. They entertain the notion that it is their birth right for God to listen to their prayers and answer them accordingly. Also, there are some who come before the presence of the Lord with severe doubts, defeated by the devils whisper that they are such an unworthy soul that for them to lift up their cries to the Lord is an abomination. They are mute by their own wickedness, depressed and thus fail to pray.

What does the scripture say about God turning a deaf hear to prayers? It is to be said that God is sovereign and can choose to answer any prayer as He sees fit. He is altogether happy and never backed into a corner, God always does whatever He pleases for He is free to do as He wills…

What does it mean to live a godly life?

If you ever asked yourself the question, what does it mean to live a godly life? and if your not exactly sure what living a godly life involves, this extract taking from Charles Seet book 'A Christian in a non-Christian world' provides ample guidance on just what to do.

Now it is worth asking the question then, 'What does it mean to live godly?' It does not mean that we are just to confine ourselves within a set of rules and regulations. Some people reduce godly living to a list of 'do’s and don'ts.' But the meaning of godly living goes far deeper than that.

Godly living means living in the manner that God wants us to live. It means having the same feelings, attitudes and heart's desires that God has. It means that we love the things that God loves, care for the things that God cares for, and dislike those things which He dislikes. And since God loves righteousness, a godly person also loves righteousness. Since God hates sin, a godly person also hates …

Women of the Bible: Adah and Zillah

The Sin of Adam and Eve resulted in the fall of humanity. Every generation after them became wicked and that is why scripture affirms, ‘that there is no one righteous, no, not even one.’ Mankind became enslave to the passions of its flesh, its desires became its ruler and men followed the natural dictates of their hearts; and were it not for Sovereign grace, the race of men would now only be read of by angels in the library of extinct creatures. Adam and Eve witnessed the consequences of their sin in the death of their beloved son, Abel, by the hands of Cain who murdered his brother in anger and was thus sent away from the presence of God. My dear sisters, sin is not only sin when it is found in its extremes, sin is also sin in its subtlety and vanity. Sin is sin when one's affection is set on another and not on God, when one lives to please a thing or a being which is not God; this is also sin.
This becomes especially evident in the lives of Adah and Zillah the wives of Lamech. Th…