A Thirty Day Devotional adapted from the NEW book: Identity: The Distinctiveness of You – Day 6
You will be secure, because there is hope. Job 11:18
I am chosen by Him. I Thessalonians 1:4
One of the ways we focus on ourselves is through comparison. Quite a few years ago while my children were still young, I wrote a leaflet that began with the following paragraph:
Maggie has never had a problem with her self-image. She loves life and makes the best of every minute. She loves people and believes that they all love and accept her unconditionally. Maggie has never stared into a mirror and felt hopeless. She’s never even desired to look at herself in a mirror and make any kind of judgement. She is perfectly content with who she is, what she wears, the shape of her body, the color of her eyes, the size of her nose and the shape of her ears. Maggie blindly trusts in her Creator. She is content to be who she is. You see, Maggie is our yellow Labrador Retriever.
The Bible tells us that comparison is unwise. “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.” (II Corinthians 10:12) How so? When we compare ourselves to someone else, we typically come up short or proud—in other words, feeling insignificant or feeling better than another. Both of these outcomes are unproductive and self-deprecating, not to mention possibly hurtful to others.
Comparison does not build security in our lives. Paul the Apostle told Timothy, his spiritual son, to watch his life…closely (I Timothy 4:6). He did not say to compare your life to others.
Here is a truth: The more self-focused we are, and comparison is a form of self-focus, the more insecure we will be. Being self-focused stunts our growth and essentially inhibits our security.
The Scripture expresses that the fear of man will prove to be a snare. (Proverbs 29:25) What does that mean? It will trip you up, it will steal your direction, it will keep you from following God’s voice, it will keep you stressed and it will steal your joy. The fear of others’ opinions of us is as old as time. Every life lived on this earth has dealt with this fear which can be all-consuming.
Paul the Apostle was writing to the Galatian church about this very subject. In chapter one, he was saying how astonished he was that they would so quickly be deserting the One who had called them and they would be following a false gospel. He related it to a false gospel that others were speaking to them. He then writes this, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men?”
You are chosen by Him; you need not compare yourself to anyone! You are uniquely created by your heavenly Father and there is great hope in His security. He notices you every day of your life!
Question for reflection:
If you find that you compare yourself with others, how can God’s approval of you bring an end to your comparison?
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