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Monday, October 10, 2016

Comparison Is the Root of Envy

In review of Galatians 6:4 it says, “Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done and won’t need to compare himself with someone else”

Bottom Line:
Do your own best work and be satisfied with it. Don’t compare yourself with others.

What this means to me:
I should pay careful attention to and then be satisfied and proud of my own work. I shouldn’t feel the need to compare myself with anyone else and what they do.

Today's verse comes from a section in Galatians 6 where Paul is explaining that we harvest exactly what we plant.  In this he explains that we are to help others with course corrections when the get off the path. We are to especially be careful that we don’t get off the path ourselves. We are to share in each others burdens when they need the assistance. And we are too never fool ourselves into thinking we are to important to help out. Paul also encourages us to pay careful attention to our own work and tasks, for then we can obtain the satisfaction of a job well done and not need to compare ourselves with anyone else. Each of us is responsible for our own conduct.

Comparison is the root of all envy. If I can eliminate the use of comparison, I can remove the sources of envy in my life. Unfortunately comparison if my favorite indoor sport. I can compare everything. I often compare my size, shape, skin tone, talk, and my intelligence. I compare via my job, talents, skills and even the things I own versus others.

In 2 Corinthians 10:12, God does warn me about the foolishness of comparing myself with others: “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise” (NIV).

When I compare, I fall guilty to either pride or envy. I will always find somebody who’s doing a better job than me, and I become full of envy, or I’ll find that I’m doing a better job than somebody, and I then become full of pride. Pride or envy is always the result of comparing. God says it’s foolish to do this. God created me to be unique, be one of kind, one who is incomparable.

The Bible says in Galatians 6:4, “Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done and won’t need to compare himself with someone else” (TLB).

Ultimately at the end of my life, God will not be saying to me, “Why weren’t you more like this person or that person?” Rather He’s going to ask, “Why weren’t you more like you?” So, I can’t focus on my purpose while I’m focusing on others. He’s not going to judge me on talent that I didn’t have and He won’t be judging me on opportunities I was never given. God will ultimately judge me on how well I lived and what I did with what he had given me.

This verse today has helped me realize that I have had bouts of envy creeping into my own life.  I have been comparing myself to others around me (work and ministry.) I have been seeking recognition, praise, and significance in my life. I have been doing this in attempts to define myself. But I’m reminded in this verse that I am unique, one of kind and incomparable. I don’t need to base my life on an identity in a career, job or role. I am simply a servant who serves, illustrates the love of God and who works towards making a difference in the lives of others. Therefore I need to live a life that shows the joy I have because of my savior. I need to do my best always and be satisfied with my own work. I need to truly humble myself and serve selflessly. I need to become one who encourages others.

There’s no need for me to compare myself with others. God has called me to be the best I can possibly be given the background, experiences, and talents he has given me. I think it’s time for me to re-evaluate and become familiar again with my gifts and abilities.  Therefore I will sign up for the next “Shape” class being offered by my church.  I want to rediscover these and become the best version of the person God made me to truly be.