Each Tuesday morning everyone on our street puts out their rubbish and recycling. Kaleb and I clean the bins around the house and bring everything – 3 different recycling bins and a few black bags – out to the front.
As I walk our dog to the park, I always find it interesting to notice what people put outside. “Lots of beer bottles this week. They don’t recycle much – everything is in black bags. Dominoes Pizza twice this week.”
What I noticed about my thinking yesterday, is that it is so full of pride. “Those people drink to much. They shouldn’t be feeding their kids so much junk food. Why don’t they recycle!”
Comparing rubbish!! What is wrong with me?
What’s wrong is that I’m a man of full of pride who, like all of us, constantly compares himself to others. I may be a better recycler and eat healthier then my neighbors, but does it really matter in the eyes of God? How easily I slip into the comparison trap.
By comparing myself to those around me, I’m subtly and sometime not so subtly seeking to justify my actions. I want to look good. I want to know that I’m better than someone else. I want to feel that I’m on the right track. But that kind of comparison is not going help me at all.
The only comparison you and I need to be doing is with God our Creator. And we always come up short. As Jesus said in Matthew 5 verse 48, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Now that’s a real problem.
But as I’m united to Jesus by faith, I meet the standards God has set for us. Not because I’m so great but because Jesus is. He did meet the standard of perfection and at the cross he took the penalty I deserve for my failures.
Comparing myself to God – that’s humbling as I look to Jesus’ work on the cross.
Comparing myself to others – that’s really rubbish.