Comparing Ourselves With Others
Morris walks out into the street and manages to get a taxi just going by. He gets into the taxi, and the cabbie says, “Perfect timing. You’re just like Dave.”
“Dave Aronson. There’s a guy who did everything right. Like my coming along when you needed a cab. It would have happened like that to Dave.”
“There are always a few clouds over everybody,” says Morris.
“Not Dave. He was a terrific athlete. He could have gone on the pro tour in tennis. He could golf with the pros. He sang like an opera baritone and danced like a Broadway star.”
“He was something, huh?”
“He had a memory like a trap. Could remember everybody’s birthday. He knew all about wine, which fork to eat with. He could fix anything. Not like me. I change a fuse, and I black out the whole neighborhood.”
“No wonder you remember him.”
“Well, I never actually met Dave.”
“Then how do you know so much about him?” asks Morris.
“Because I married his widow.”
Ever get the feeling that you never quite measure up to the standard that someone else has set? It can be very frustrating. We look around and see people who have achieved such great things in their professional lives, in their family lives, in their spiritual lives, and we’re left feeling very inadequate. Or perhaps others make the comparison and make us feel that way.
If you compare yourself with others, you can always find someone greater than you are, and that can create a sense of inadequacy. Or, if you wish, you can always find someone worse than you are, and that can create a sense of pride. It’s easy to see why Paul said what he did:
For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. (2 Corinthians 10:12)
The only one we dare compare ourselves with is Jesus Christ, and while we will always fall short of the standard, he reaches out to pull us where he is. If we feel any inadequacy, he provides what we lack. If we feel any pride, he reminds us that we have no basis for it.
Source: Allan Smith: Thought for the Day.