We as a society do a lot of comparing. We compare prices. We compare ourselves to others in categories of attractiveness, and dress, and strength, and income, and bling, and all sorts of things. Some of these comparisons help and some do not. Some encourage us to excel and be better than we were, but others make us feel bad about ourselves and our abilities. What I’d like to talk about today is are we comparing ourselves to the “right” others.
I like to run 5k road races, and even at age 45 I’m competitive about it. That’s one of the things I really hate about the Coronavirus Age is that they canceled all of my road races that I look forward to each year. But in years past when I was able to run competitively, I was pretty good at it. Sometimes in smaller races I would win my age group, and that made me very proud. But one day I really started thinking about my running on a bigger scale, and I wasn’t as proud any more.
When I only compared myself to local runners my age, I appeared to be pretty fast. And if I were to compare myself to humanity as a whole I would appear fast as well. You know, if I compared myself to everyone… the elderly, babies, obese people, politicians… I was way up there in the rankings! But when I started to compare myself to people that regularly run, I realized I was average at best.
I think that’s a mistake we make as Christians as well. When we compare ourselves to the average Joe on the street, we probably look pretty good. Or when we compare ourselves to the guy that flipped us off in traffic or the embezzler we saw on the local news we look really good. But I think we are supposed to be comparing ourselves to people that are really trying to be Christ-like on a regular basis. If we compare ourselves to someone like Billy Graham or Jesus himself we might not look so great. And I’m not saying we can be like Jesus or even Billy Graham, but I think we are supposed to try and get as close as we can given our own abilities and talents. So think back to someone who you thought of as a modern day “saint” in your past, and try to figure out what it was about them that made them stand out. Then see if you need to work on that thing in your own life. Comparisons can be good if they’re used to take us even one step closer to our Savior. Thanks for reading my 2nd blog.