Yesterday we talked about the fact that, as a follower of Jesus, when you’re guaranteed important eternal things you worry less about unimportant temporary things.
Compared to the gift of eternity and a relationship with Almighty God, how big your house is, how many gadgets you have, and how popular you are, start to look pretty insignificant.
I don’t think most people would disagree with what I’ve said so far. So why then is it so easy to continually compare ourselves to other people?
I think that if we look at the root issue we get some further insight.
Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit…”
If we’re conceited, and if our thoughts and actions are based on a sense of rivalry with others, we’re operating out of a place of pride, of our egos being disproportionately puffed up.
And that’s the root issue.
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes: “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next person. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about.”
So what do we do?
Paul tells us. “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit.” It’s about checking your motives and deflating your pride.
Our job isn’t to measure up to others, compete with others, or be better than others. Our job is to bless others.
That’s a part of what loving God and our neighbours is all about.
By Matthew Ruttan