How often have I compared myself to others, only to find myself lacking? My sister and I took piano lessons in elementary school. I slowly learned how to read sheet music and play scales as her fingers danced over the keys, starting with Chopsticks and quickly graduating to Bach. The difference between her playing and mine was immense, so I quit. Why? Because I didn’t stack up.
So often we do the same. We look at the best outward appearance of another and compare it to our ugliest moments. How can we expect our rotten apples to glisten like a diamond? However unfair the comparison might be, if we aren’t careful it can have the same result as my short-lived piano playing days: it will cause us to quit. We might stop doing what God has called us to do. We forfeit our call just because we look at things with our earthly eyes, believing our judgments are more accurate than the discernment of the One who created us. Simply put, it is idolatry. Idolatry because we make that person our god or idolatry because we make our assertions to be our god.
Galatians 6:4,5 challenges us to “make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life” (The Message).