Verse: Galatians 6:3-6
3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
Have you heard it said that "no one wins the comparison game?" I think for the most part that is a really helpful statement. Think about it. If we compare ourselves to someone else and decide we are better, then we end up with pride. If we, however, do the opposite, we can end up with insecurity and self hatred.
Now I will say there is one caveat. If you have a healthy sense of who you are rooted in Christ, and you see someone better than you at something, you can use that as healthy motivation to get better, without turning it into self hatred.
But overall, when we compare we tend to lose one way or the other. We compare our looks, or our bodies, or our talents, or our voice, or our grades, or our income, or whatever.....and it almost always leads to a bad place. That's why Paul says here to test our own actions and take pride in what we've done alone, not in relation to what others have done.
This is so wise. I love it. He's not saying "just love yourself no matter what" as popular culture seems to preach. And it also doesn't say "you are such a sinner that you'll never measure up" that the church can sometimes come across as saying. Do you ever struggle with either of those extremes?
But what he is saying is, "be honest - have an honest evaluation of yourself in light of what is true." If you are doing well, great! Take pride in your work as a child of God who was made to excel! If you are struggling, be honest about it! Don't beat yourself up, but find God's grace who tells us that his strength is made perfect in our weakness!
So wherever you find yourself this morning, maybe one of those messages is something you need to hear. God has a great plan for you life. I know it can be so hard to feel pulled in so many directions to try and measure up. But God is the audience you are living before. Keep your eyes focused on him. And allow his gentle love to lead you and guide you.
Thank you Jesus that you love me no matter what, and that you also have great things for me. Help me to avoid the comparison trap and find your path of life and freedom.