Many of our feelings of satisfaction or dissatisfaction have their roots in how we compare ourselves to others. When we compare ourselves to those who have more, we feel bad. When I compare my educational level (I’m a diploma holder only) with others who studied for degree and master, I will feel bad. When I compare my income with my friends who work in the government, I feel sad. When I compare my English with magazine and website editors in my church, I feel down.
But when we compare ourselves to those who have less, we feel grateful. When I compare my breakfast with the hungry, I feel blessed. When I compare of me having a home and personal bedroom with homeless strangers at Kuching Waterfront, I’m very thankful. When I compare my Biblical knowledge with those who are well-educated at theological school, I guess I’m proud of myself.
Mind you, both feeling and thinking are dangerous because we try to compare ourselves with the more and the less, rather than making a wiser comparison. The truth is we have exactly the same life either way, our feeling and thinking about our life can be difference tremendously based on who we compare ourselves with. May I advise? Compare yourself with those examples that are meaningful but that make you feel comfortable with who you are and what you have. Find your own personal heroes.
Yes, God want us to imitate His faithful servants in the Scripture when the writer of Hebrews writes, “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7). Yes, compare our lives with their faithful lives and consider (think of) their way of life. But God doesn’t say for us to be like them. The healthiest comparison that God offers is this: Compare yourself with Jesus, not others. Focus on Jesus when you’re tempted to compare yourself with others. In Jesus, our comparison is more meaningful. We still can be who we are with greater thanksgiving, humility and contentment. Choose your comparisons wisely.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.