People naturally tend to compare others with a standard based upon their own stature; it is part of our broken human nature. This pattern is true for the majority of people, including your’s truly! We all have to be conscious and deliberate to not measure others by our own stature. It’s a foolish person who utilizes their own stature as a standard for them self and for others.
We notice differences right away: their gender, their race, their social standing as portrayed by the fashion of their clothing, and other visibly obvious things. Then, as we get to know them we compare their sanctification, their intelligence IQ, their emotional IQ, their taste in food and music, their gifts and talents, their notion of fashion and style, their skills, their motivations in life, etc. with a standard: us.
The scripture teaches us to avoid using ourselves (or others within our own circle of like-minded people) as standards by which we compare ourselves or other people. The Apostle Paul knew this principle well and referred to it in one of his letters:
“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.”
~ 2 Corinthians 10:12
When we compare others we tend to then judge them. Judging them is not just the act of discerning what they might be doing that is wrong (lovingly discerning each other within the church is encouraged by scripture), it is instead where we compartmentalize them and write them off; we look down on them based upon a standard that is not of Christ.
We are also warned about judging others (writing them off) for the very same things that we do. I don’t know about you, but when I notice myself doing that [much too often, I must say] I literally get sick to my stomach because of my own hypocrisy.
However, if we are blind to our own hypocrisy then we can feel elevated and more righteous. We can limit our social circle to include only those who do not measure up to our own current level of sanctification. By comparing them and thinking of them as being “worse” than us, we are comforted by how good we are in comparison. Again, we are not to be our own standard, Christ is. It’s a dangerous temptation to turn a blind eye on our own condition which is falling short of the glory of God.
Jesus Christ is to be our standard in all things, and we are to compare ourselves to Him alone. The next time we notice someone else’s lackluster performance in skills, intelligence, fashion sense, sin and morality, food preference, creativity, etc. let’s remind ourselves how short we ourselves fall of the perfect standard of Christ, and how gracious and patient and encouraging He is to lead us into the genuine changes of our heart and mind.
#PastorsTip #2Corinthians10 #Standards #Classify #Compare #Foolish