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The Wrong Comparisons

2 Corinthians 10:12: For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

Romans 12:6: Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

This devotional was written by Evangelist Wil Rice on Mark 9:34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

Are you competitive? If you just now jumped up, raised your hand and yelled *yes,* you probably are. If you are sitting on your hands, then maybe you are not so competitive. The truth is that all of us are competitive if we hit on the right thing. I might mention a football team and say, *My team is better than your team.* Or, it might be the strength, beauty, or intelligence in others that brings out the competitiveness in you.

The truth of the matter is that all of us assess ourselves relative to other people. We compare ourselves to other people. This is a fatal mistake because the way to accurately assess yourself is to accurately see Jesus Christ.

In Mark 9 Jesus asked His disciples as they came into Capernaum, *What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?* Well, Jesus knew what they were arguing about, but they didn*t know what they were arguing about. They were not self-aware enough to know that their dispute was the competitive impulse, the *I-am-better-than-you* attitude.

Verse 34 says, *But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.* What a silly thing to be discussing when in the presence of God the Son, but that is exactly what they did.

It occurs to me that much of Mark*s gospel keeps hammering the question, *Who is Jesus?* Jesus asked His disciples, *Whom do men say that I am?* They answered Him, *John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.* Jesus asked them, *But whom say ye that I am?* And Peter answered, *Thou art the Christ.*

Shortly thereafter Jesus took Peter, James, and John to the Mount of Transfiguration where Elijah and Moses appeared to them. They didn*t know what to say because they didn*t know what to think of these long-dead, historical figures appearing before them. They didn*t know what to think because they weren*t fully assessing Who Jesus is. Then the Father spoke with a mighty voice out of a cloud saying, *This is my beloved Son: hear him.* Then they turned around, and saw no man except Jesus.

Likewise, perhaps it would help us if we would see Jesus only. We spend so much of our time trying to assess who we are by comparing ourselves with other people. That is a dead end street. Jesus went on to say that whoever receives a little child in His name receives Him. In other words, when I accurately assess Who Jesus is, I can accurately see who I am. It helps me to be neither too high nor too low because my self-esteem is not based on my view of others, but on the immutable person of Jesus Christ.

My value is found in the fact that God created me and has put me on this earth for a purpose. There is a difference between living life according to the *I-am-better-than-you* attitude and living a life where I acknowledge Who made me and living that life to please Him. Jesus is utterly singular. There is no One like Him. When we see Who He is, it allows us to serve. I can serve even a little child because when I serve a child, I am serving Christ.

When I see other people who may be competitors, it helps me to remember that I serve Christ. I am not responding to people all the time; I am yielding to Christ. In your life today, you are not valuable because you are amazing, but because God made and designed you. You have the privilege and obligation to serve Him today.

Care to discuss The Wrong Comparisons with Ron?

He'd also like to hear your prayer requests