The Distortion of Comparison

1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?

Romans 2:1-3 NIV

The 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass once wrote “no man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.”  We live in a world of comparison where the objective is to either identify the fault in others that “we don’t struggle with” or numerate the reasons why we rank as better (than others).  This is a personal indictment for me because for a long time, I would contrast myself with others.  I would feel pride at superiority and shame at deficiency.  It seemed to be an automatic process in my head.  Its only when I fashioned an affirmation statement based on the way that God sees me that I converted this thinking to a choice.  Now I know that when faced with judging or comparing myself to others, I can do something different.

It has been said that we abhor in others the things that we struggle with ourselves. We only recognize the issues of greed, arrogance, immorality, narcissism, insensitivity, selfishness, raging anger (the list is endless) in others because these things also exist within ourselves.  In verse 4 of Romans 2, the apostle Paul writes “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance, patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance.”  Instead of leading to judgment, sensing imperfection in others should lead us to examine ourselves and determine where exactly the similarity in brokenness lies.  Recognition of brokenness then leads us to repentance and acceptance of God’s grace.

Do you struggle with a debilitating attitude of judgment and comparison?  Take heart, you are not alone.  Confess it to someone who cares for and loves you.  Be encouraged by James 5:16 that says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed.” 

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