2 Cor 10:12 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. (NKJV)
Is the Christmas season stressing anyone out yet? Do you spend time worrying about what other families are doing to commemorate Jesus' birth? What about Christmas decorations? Do you wish you had what others had? I know I sometimes fall into the trap of comparing what I'm doing to other people and honestly, what good does it do?
Comparing ourselves to others causes more harm than good in more than one way. I suppose that is why the bible tells us not to compare, huh? In 2 Samuel 17:23, we see a suicide as a result of feelings of inadequacy over this issue.
Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice was not followed, he saddled a donkey, and arose and went home to his house, to his city. Then he put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died; and he was buried in his father’s tomb. (NKJV)
For a little background on the story, Ahithophel was the trusted advisor of King David but was called on by Absalom, David's rebellious son, to give advice regarding how Absalom could overtake David's throne. Little did Ahithophel know, but the fact that his counsel was not taken by Absalom over Hushai's counsel (a man sent by David to Absalom to confuse things a little) was an answer to prayer.
Poor Ahithophel. I wonder if his pride got the best of him because his advice was not taken. His advice was not taken because of preference toward another, Hushai, a man sent by David to confuse Absalom. After all, Hushai was a "nobody" and he was a "somebody". I believe that pride led to his untimely demise at his own hand.
So can you see how this might relate to us? Comparing ourselves to others rarely gets us anywhere that God wants us to be. It can make us complacent in our walk and service to God if we think we are doing better than others but it can also depress us into a state of paralysis because of low self esteem. Either way, the art of comparison gets us nowhere. For our own well-being, we need to just keep our eyes looking upward and onward to the job that God has us to do right where we are.
Things to think about:
1) How am I comparing myself to others around me?
2) If I feel good or bad about myself when comparing, why is that so?
3) What is it that I sense God would have me to do in my situation, today?