The Dangers of Comparing One Another

Sam Petitfils

“Jesus said to him, ‘If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!’ ”

Jesus had just informed Peter how he would meet his death and thereby glorify God. In verse 20 we read, “Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved…” Peter asked the Lord what would become of this disciple, the Apostle John. But Jesus did not provide the answer Peter had hoped for. Instead, He let Peter know it was not his business to know what He would do with John. From this we can derive some important lessons.

First of all, God reigns supreme over each of His children, and does not relinquish that control to another. Jesus is Lord of all and continues in that capacity for all eternity. We are His children, and each submits and answers to Him alone.

Secondly, God does not owe us an explanation of His actions, including His dealings with others. He carries out a divine plan with each of us and that alone should keep us occupied without wondering about others.

Thirdly, such comparisons usually hurt us, not help us. When we think of it, the reason becomes clear: We lack the facts to make clear judgments about others.

While some people seem to make out better than others, we don’t know all the facts. In fact, much remains hidden from our eyes. Every Christian carries some burdens, and some seem to carry more than others. But we must remember that God plans our lives with infinite wisdom and purpose. We need to trust that wisdom when tempted to compare ourselves with others.

Also, we do not always count our blessings as we should. Some make more money than others, true, but others have better health, or healthier relationships, or longevity. No one suffers all the hardships, and no one reaps all the blessings. God measures out some to each according to His purposes for our lives. But whatever He calls us to go through, He prepares us and provides us ample grace (see 2 Corinthians 1:3-7).

When tempted to compare, trust that God knows what He’s doing. When others fare well in this life, or appear to, be happy for them and remember that loves does not envy (1 Corinthians 13:4). We should rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15), and be happy for them. Comparing can only lead to disappointment and it obscures all the good things God is doing in your life.

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