Avoiding the Comparison Trap
Updated: Mar 28, 2021
Don’t you love when God’s Word unexpectedly speaks to you?
I had one of those unexpected moments today while reading the final chapter of John's gospel.
Earlier in John, Peter had denied Christ three times. Yet, as a demonstration of God's grace, Jesus not only restored His relationship with Peter in John 21, but Jesus personally commissioned Peter to carry the message of the gospel!
I don't know about you, but I would have LOVED to have been in Peter's sandals that day and heard Christ's call.
However, as their conversation was nearing its end, we see a surprising turn. Peter asked an unusual question -- a question that, if we're honest, might have wedged in our mind as well.
The Bible says Peter looked at John and asked Jesus, "What about this man?" (referring to John)
Did you catch that? Despite an incomparable encounter with Christ, Peter became distracted when he looked at someone else's life. Rather than lean into Christ's call, Peter's eyes deflected on what Christ was doing in someone else's life.
While Peter couldn't scroll through Facebook and Instagram in his bed at night, he had been caught by the trap of comparison.
As I read this story, I thought, Isn't this what we do? Despite God's clear and undeniable blessings on our life, we scroll and survey our surroundings, comparing our lives to others. And, if we're not careful, we become blinded to our blessings and crippled by comparison.
Yet Jesus replied with a brilliant statement -- a statement that unexpectedly encouraged me earlier today. He said, 'If it is my will that he [John] remains until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!" (vs. 23)
Did you catch that? What is John's life to you? You follow ME!
No need to look around. No need to compare. "You follow me."
So when confronted today with the urge to compare, free yourself with this: What has my Father in heaven placed before ME to do? What should others matter to me? I will follow Christ!