The Deadly Act Of Comparison (pt. 2)

The Deadly Act of Comparison Part2
Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged.
– Helen Keller


At some time in our lives we will all compare ourselves to someone else. The amount of money you have does not matter.  What you look like, where you live, or even what you own is not a concern.   We will all commit the act of comparison.


It begins when we are just toddlers.  Two children are sitting on the floor, each with a toy.  One child quickly compares the toys and decides the other child has the best toy.  In a flash he reaches over and grabs the other child’s toy.  He was not taught how to do this.  Comparison just comes naturally.


Sometimes the act of comparison will actually become a motivator for us.  That moment of examination sparks us to better ourselves in some way.  But often in my life it has been less of a motivator and more of a discouragement.  Instead of inspiring me, it depressed me.


We see this in the writings of Asaph in Psalm 73.  “For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (Psalm 73:3).  He has viewed the great strength and wealth of others, and became jealous because he did not see those same things in his own life.  Over several verses, Asaph compared his life with those he viewed as wicked.   He was upset to the point that he said it physically caused him pain when he contrasted their lives with his own (Psalm 73:16).


But then something changed.  “Until I went into the sanctuary of God…” (Psalm 73:17).  When Asaph went before the Lord, his attitude changed.  When he stood before the eternal God, he realized how temporal his thoughts had been.  Most of the time we are making comparisons based on very momentary elements.  Our weight, our finances, our physical features, our clothing, our job…While all of these things have a level of importance, they pale in comparison to the eternity that is seen through the eyes of our everlasting Father.


When he realized how ridiculous he had been, Asaph wrote, “Thus my heart was grieved, and I was vexed in my mind. I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You” (Psalm 73:21-22).  The presence of God was a great wake-up call for Asaph.  Earthly wealth, physical strength, and external beauty are all very fleeting….they will not last.  Yet, the majestic beauty of our Lord never fades.  His wisdom, power, and might will never diminish.


Our joy is not found in how we look or even what we have accumulated.  That can only bring short-lived happiness.  Our joy is found in our wonderful God and His never-ending love.  When we look at the blessings that we have been given, how can we be discouraged.  When we focus on His guiding hand and abiding presence, how can we be defeated.  “My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26).


When you and I look around and begin to feel depressed because of the temporary success of others, we need to remember the final words Asaph writes in this Psalm:
But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works. (Psalm 73:28) 


Remember…You Are A Champion!

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