August 22, 2017 | Comparison, Thief Of Joy

“Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
[Philippians 2:3-4 HCSB]
I was moved and convicted by this insightful letter from a young pastor in another state.
Wayne, on Sunday you concluded your lesson with a note on comparison robbing joy and instilling bitterness. I have of course had this happen, but I recently experienced something even worse: comparison resulting in arrogance.
A woman with whom I work (not at the church, I have another job) is far older than I am and often grumpy. She frequently complains about the work we have to do and occasionally uses foul language. My assumption was, of course, that I was a FAR better person than she, and of course, that I needed to show her Jesus (though I was too scared to ever share the gospel).
Yesterday, we both had down time at the office and she pulled out a worn, tattered Bible with fraying leather and yellowed pages, and pulled out a magnifying glass so she could peer at the words on the page. For twenty minutes she read in silence and finally I asked, “What are you reading?” With joy she replied, “My Bible; I read it over and over again and when I finish I start right back over. I’m currently in Exodus because I recently finished. Nowadays I have to use this magnifying glass because my eyes don’t work like they used to, but it’s one of the few things that keeps me going.”
Because of her flaws I considered myself as superior, despite my own sins with which I struggle every day. I feel embarrassed and ashamed that my own sin of comparison and judgement blinded me from loving another one of my sisters in Christ and puffed me up in a misplaced sense of righteousness.
Comparison, whether through pride or envy, will invariably pull us off the path of success.