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Unhealthy Comparisons

If debating Theology isn't quite your style, but you love God's Word, please use this forum to encourage and be encouraged by sharing scripture, your own devotions and short questions to ponder. This is not a place for debate or argument.

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hldude
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Unhealthy Comparisons

Postby hldude » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:06 pm

“Unhealthy Comparisons”

By Zach Wood

Luke 18:9-14



If I have done it once, I have done it probably a hundred times or even more. I am sure you have probably done it as well. I compare myself to people. I know you do the same. We all do. We are human. We seem to feel better when we justify what we are doing by comparing ourselves to someone else and say, “Well, at least I’m not like that person!”

To be honest, that phrase becomes like a disease that seems to permeate through our relationships with other people. We separate ourselves from those people who seem worse off than we are. We like to think we are better than those who do really bad things. The problem is we have come up with the rationalization that what we are doing is ok and what those people do is terrible.

Sad thing here is, Jesus Christ sees sin as sin. We can rationalize, justify, and convince ourselves that are better than “those people” who do really bad things. We try to do good things, so we strive to many times separate ourselves when good and bad people are categorized.

Jesus Christ is showing us in this parable that our comparison problem stems from when we compare ourselves within our reasoning and understanding and feel we are better than those who are doing really bad things in our eyes. We are not comparing ourselves to who Christ wants us to be, but rather what we personally think is better. His standard is so higher than ours and we many times fail to see the way He wants us to see. The harsh truth is when we think this way in comparing ourselves to others, we are just as bad as those who we think are doing worse things.

Jesus Christ calls us to be humble and repentant. We should not think of ourselves in any other way than humble and responsive to what He commands. He compares us to what He asks of us. It is extremely unhealthy when we compare ourselves to others and feel we are better. We become like the Pharisees. We show off and try to explain how we are better. We are no better.

When I read this parable, I want to be more like the tax collector who admits his inadequacies to God and becomes humble before the Lord. The last part of verse 14 is so powerful. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.

Which one are you right now? The Pharisee or the Tax Collector? Be humbled and let go of your rationalizations, justifications and comparisons you’ve made.

DonnaEdgar
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Re: Unhealthy Comparisons

Postby DonnaEdgar » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:51 pm

I remember and often tell young Christains about one very special Easter Service.
Let me tell you;
I was dressed to the tens', had matching dress, with matching shoes, with matching corsage, with matching eyeshadow...ya get the idea? It was my turn in the nursery that Resserection Sunday. A large piture window looked out toward the altar and on the back of the congeragation. As I stood there hold a sleeping baby, looking out and in the back row almost directly in front of me was the most rag-tag, dirty family I ever saw. Studying their appearance I smuggly thought to myself, "Well, who do they think they are coming into God's house dressed like that!?" A small voice whispered to my heart, "Who do you think you are?" It was a small voice but, it jolted me like lightening.
I called it a very special Easter Service. It was the first time I was made to feel ashamed of myself as a Christian, the first time I recall jugding someone as a Christian, because of the their poverty, the first time I cried tears of shame for my evil thoughts. I thank God for that, it changed my heart, my way of thinking...changed me forever. Man looks at the outside, God looks on the inside, I read not long afterwards. That was over 30 years ago, and I still hear that small voice whisper to my heart when I have unkind thoughts and I am glad He chastises me. Because of this, He reminds me how much He loves me and how much like Jesus He wants me to continue to become. I praise Him.

jo555
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Re: Unhealthy Comparisons

Postby jo555 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:51 am

Oh, I hear ya Donna. I ask the Lord to keep me humble because I never want to think of myself better than the worst apart from Him.

I find that when I am going there...thinking myself better of myself than others, it is like his grace is removed for a time (and not speaking of overall grace, but for a period in the particular instance to help me see) and I find that I am no better and can even be worse apart from Him...and need to lean on Him.

Humble pie isn't always pleasant but it does bear good fruit with time and as we continue in Christ.

Yes, our standard should always be Christ...Holy as Father is Holy and that is found in Jesus...a Holiness within that manifests on the outside.

Thanks for sharing.

Love in Him,
Joanne
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

jo555
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Re: Unhealthy Comparisons

Postby jo555 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:11 am

From, The Calvary Road by Hession...

The Mote and the Beam:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/22193/22 ... h.htm#Mote
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

DonnaEdgar
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Re: Unhealthy Comparisons

Postby DonnaEdgar » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:50 pm

Hi Jo,
Yep! Same blessed thing here. I say blessed because the Lord allows me to not like my self when I'm not in His will. I am misrable untill I get right with Him.
Donna


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