Pastor in the Pasture: Stop comparing and keep walking
It’s easy to compare. You daywork for your neighbors and immediately you start comparing your rig, your trappings, your horse, and your performance. You pull up and see ‘ol Fred’s 2nd Gen Dodge pickup that is used but it’s nice. His trailer is used as well but the newness hadn’t worn off the paint yet. You’ve gauged what you know, as well, against other folks. “What does he know that I don’t?” You start to measure what kind of hand you’ve become over the years. Then the neighbor you hired out to, calls your name to get your horse, because it’s your turn to throw a loop. You are now the one being watched and they are comparing themselves to you. NO PRESSURE!
We all know what it’s like to compare and measure our performance against someone else by asking some questions. That comparison may not be helpful, however just a plain, bare bones audit of ourselves could be something to consider. We may need to ask questions of ourselves about our faith and walk with Christ.
These might include:
• “How much do I know about Christianity and the Bible?”
• “What kind of Christian am I?”
• “What have I done for Christ?
• “What am I doing now for Him?”
• “What is He leading me to do?”
When we are able to objectively look at our level of productivity horseback or in our walk with Christ we can see areas for improvement. How else can we see that we have fruit in our life?
So what do we do if we weigh those questions and find we might be a little short? We sure don’t need to beat up on ourselves but we definitely need to see growth in ourselves. Peter, one of the Twelve, wrote:
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:3-8 NIV)
We see immediately that Jesus’ “…divine power has given us…,” which should give us relief from pressure that we might feel and understand we can never earn what He’s given us. However, we also see Peter write, “…make every effort…,” that shows that we do have a responsibility that is ours.
My encouragement is simply this, if you find yourself comparing your walk to others, instead look at this list of qualities that Peter says to possess. Then take those qualities and ask yourself honestly, “Do I have them and if so are they qualities that are ‘increasing in measure,’ in my life?”
Stop comparing and keep walking…
I’ll see ya’ll out in the pasture!