At least I don’t do what they do!!
Have you ever played the compare game in your marriage or relationship? You look at somebody else’s problems, shortcomings, personality or physical flaws and you throw it in your spouses face with the retort “At least I don’t do (look like, act, say) what they do!” Comparing ourselves to others poses a couple dangers. First, it sets us up for pride. We elevate ourselves above others and that pride stands in the way of us looking at our own issues. Second, it blinds our eyes to loving others in their weaknesses. When we point out others weaknesses, we look strong, and therefore the attention is taken off of our own areas of growth. I have done this so many times especially since Kevin and I moved out into the wilderness. I want to get Kevin to appreciate how low maintenance I am and how helpful I am around this ranch, and so when he doesn’t I might say “well at least I can start a generator and chop wood, I know many women that wouldn’t want to do this.” Maybe you notice somebody in your world that you find yourself comparing yourself to or maybe it is just the collective group of people like I do with women in general. You think “well at least I don’t do what they do!” This is the subtle voice of pride.
Pride is so sinister and innocuous. One thing I notice about it, is that it paralyzes and does not promote growth. Pride tells us, “ I have arrived” in whatever area it is; communication, parenting, work, spiritual gifts, generosity or you name it. It is much easier to notice others “obvious” issues rather then focus on the deeper issues of our heart. We see another spouse being argumentative, spending to much money, being lazy, not cooking as much as we do, being depressed, gossiping, or a variety of other behaviors. It is easy to see those behaviors and feel relieved that we aren’t “that bad”. But there are deeper questions we need to ask? Are we judgmental? Are we dissatisfied? Are we shallow and idle in our talk? Do we fixate on things we know we shouldn’t? Are we resentful? Are we keeping score in relationships? Are we obsessed with ourselves? Are we using things to distract us? And the list goes on and on.
Colossians 3: 1-3 exhorts us “Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, not on earthly things. For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
When we compare ourselves to any one person or another couple we are setting our hearts on things that are here on earth and will not have eternal value. This promise is so amazing; that we have been raised with Christ. You see when Christ was raised he was triumphant, victorious, and whole! We too are whole. We lack nothing. Every promise of God is at our fingertips. Do we want to be a stronger communicator? Do we want to forgive? Do we want wisdom? Do we need peace? These promises are ours. When we focus on our savior we can stop looking at others and we can start searching the things of our own heart. Each of us has a treasure inside to share with the world. Some of us have empathy, some discernment, the gift of making money, the gift of worship, generosity, business saavy, organizational skills, creativity, ability to draw others together, the passion to pray, hospitality, the love of children, faith, gifts of teaching, gifts of prophecy or healing or words of knowledge. This is the treasure hidden with God.
We need to seek the creator of all and look at his character to to help us see ourselves more clearly. When we look at others weaknesses to bolster ourselves we fail at true spiritual growth. God wants us to look to His son, the bridge that joins us to our creator and seek to set our hearts on the things of the Spirit. Get to know Jesus more! Study his life not the lives of a friend you know, a couple you know or a group you know. When I start to compare myself to Jesus, I am no longer tempted to tell Kevin “Well at least I don’t do that!” I am humbled by how much more I could do to resemble Jesus and to set my heart on His things. When I turn to Him as my template for comparison, I learn to love others better. He is the ultimate role mode and his life helps me learn how to kill pride and fill myself up with love for people right where they are at. So today compare yourself to Him and get ready to change. If He is your treasure your heart is sure to follow.
How You Can Help Spread the Love
Consider partnering with us as a monthly or as a one time supporter. We moved into our office and are serving more and more people that need counseling, prayer support and coaching and cannot afford it. We are a 501c3 organization and are 100% donation based , so the support of faithful friends and partners makes all the difference in the scope of our outreach to others. Use paypal on our website or mail checks to Mountain Haven at 1160 Diamond Back Trail Canon City, CO 81212. Continue to stand with us in prayer as we continue to love others as Christ loved us!! Please feel free to send us your prayer requests at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be diligent to pray for you!