The above quote, attributed to President Theodore Roosevelt, is quite a powerful statement. Comparing yourself to others only draws your focus away from your own qualities and blessings, causing undue heartache. But what if it was more consequential? What if it is blocking you from experiencing Jesus?
Many feel as though they’re ‘safe’ because they see someone who claims to be a Christian and think, ‘if that one is saved, then surely I’m alright.’ Basing your eternal livelihood on the behavior of a human, no better than yourself, is dangerous and could be damning. By choosing to call out someone else’s shortcomings, spiritual or otherwise, you downplay or justify your own. The problem lies with focusing on the Christian, instead of Christ. While Christians are called to be like Christ, we fail everyday because we are human. Christians are not sinless. There was only one sinless man to ever walk the earth and that was Jesus Christ himself.
When you look to Christians for the validity of your salvation, you’re essentially putting your trust in them, not Christ. Let me be perfectly clear – Christians will let you down. It is fact. Christians are no less human than the unbeliever, which means they are capable of sin. The only difference between a Christian and an unbeliever is that the Christian has admitted they are a sinner and need a savior. Your eternal life simply cannot rest in the hands of an imperfect person. Acts 4:12 says, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” The Bible is very clear on the path to salvation and in whom it is found. Romans 10:9 says that, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” JESUS is Lord. No other is worthy. Your faith is to be put in Him alone. Do Christians have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a Godly manner? We absolutely do. We are called to a higher standard to lead others to Christ. We should strive to lead a life that brings Christ to the forefront, not cause others to stumble.
Conversely, dangerous comparison effects believers as well. Christians still have a sin nature and fight with their flesh daily. We are not immune to cancerous feelings, such as jealousy and envy. We’re human and susceptible to these negative feelings, which Satan uses to divide the body of Christ. It’s only too easy to look on someone else and see their gifts and neglect your own. Each one of us has a unique calling on our life. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 says, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” This is what makes a successful church; uniquely gifted individuals, coming together for His glory. We must never look at our fellow Christian with envy or allow jealousy to affect our feelings toward them. That is always the work of Satan to distract us from our purpose of winning souls for Christ.
Friend, don’t let anything steal your opportunity to experience the fullness of joy that can only be found in living for Him.
Until next time,