Constant comparisons and negative criticisms

Lately I’ve been thinking about invisible robbers who steal your contentment.

The latest one tries to convince you to put too much stock in (a) comparing yourself to others (in person or online), and (b) the judgments and criticisms of others.

Is it just me, or did hundreds of you just nod your heads in agreement?

In the Bible, Paul was really good at tuning out comparisons and criticisms. Speaking to the temperamental Corinthians he wrote, “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court…” (1 Corinthians 4:3). He knew that his first job was to be faithful to God (verse 2)—not to live up to the strange standards of the Corinthians.

Today that serves as a very simple—but powerful—reminder to all of us:

Your first job is to be faithful to God.

You can rob yourself of peace when you mistakenly think your first job is to evaluate your status in life in comparison to others, or to please others, or put too much stock in the judgments, negative opinions, or criticisms of others.

Let your internal compass be guided by Christ, not comparisons or criticisms.

Your first job is to be faithful to God.

By Matthew Ruttan

You can now WATCH me deliver the sermon that today’s “Up!” is based on here. It’s called “The thief of comparison and criticism” and is Part 2 in the “Contentment” series. Enjoy! [The audio-only download is here.]
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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