Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Comparison Game

Scripture Texts: Romans 13:8-14; Romans 14:1-12; Psalms 22

There is something almost natural in the way we compare ourselves with other people. A strange comfort is found in being able to point out someone else's flaws and highlight our successes. It can also be harmful when we compare with someone that is excelling in areas we are struggling. All in all, the comparison game will eat us up if we insist on playing it.

Paul reminds us that life is never as cut and dry, especially when we play the comparison game. We might think we are more holy than another person because of the things we stay away from, or because we worship God on a certain day when others do not. In fact Paul goes on to remind us that our measure is not what someone else is doing. No, our measure is found in how we are living out the call of God in our lives.

The comparison game is not really ours to play. We have no right or standing to be able to determine if someone is more or less faithful than we are, that is the work of God. It becomes self-assuring if we are able to highlight someone else rather than look at ourselves. It also becomes a never ending and never winning game.

Comparison in marriage can happen on many levels. We can compare ourselves to our spouse. Some might compare their spouse with other people. There is also the comparison of marriages. A couple might think our marriage is better than another couple's marriage, or they might set another couple on a pedestal. All forms of comparison with other people become dangerous in a marriage, yet comparing your marriage with that of another couple seems to encompass them all.

Once the comparison begins it is difficult to stop it. Many reasons and rationalizations show up as to why our marriage is better, or worse than another. Reality is the only comparison that matters in a marriage is whether or not we are living up to the calling God has placed on our marriage. It is not other couples who we will have to answer to, or who will have to answer to us. We will all answer God for how we have lived the life that was given to us.

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