Sunday, April 30, 2017

And The Winner Is- - -

Contests. Standardized tests. Percentiles. Athletic competitions. Academic competitions. Trophies. Beauty pageants. Races. Personal best. Polls.

Large segments of our societies are devoted to comparisons and awards. Huge amounts of money and time are poured into competitions and adoration of winners.

We pat ourselves on the back if we can feel that we are better, seem better, do better, look better than someone else. On the other hand, some of us feel our task in life is to make others feel better, by comparing themselves to us!

If you haven’t noticed by now, let me tell you. Whatever your glory, it’s going to fade. True, the 101-year-old woman won gold in the 100 meter race. But, then, she was the only one running in the “over 100” age category. And it took her more than a minute longer than it took Usain Bolt. 

Here is what God’s Word says, from the Apostle Paul in II Cor 10:
“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.”

Not wise? But if we can’t be the best (in our opinion), or we are the best but our glory fades, how can we feel good about ourselves? Evidently, according to God, our self-esteem is not the highest good.

Paul goes on.
“We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us…”
Then Paul quotes the prophet Jeremiah,
“This is what the Lord says:
‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
    or the strong boast of their strength
    or the rich boast of their riches,
    but let the one who boasts boast about this:
    that they have the understanding to know me,
    that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
    justice and righteousness on earth,
    for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord.”   Jer. 9 NIV

Now, there’s something worth working on. And we don’t have to compare ourselves to anyone else.

Paul finishes this chapter with the best “award” of all.
“For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.”

--Lynda Shenefield

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