21,22 “When Peter saw him (John), he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If it is My will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!’”
John 21:21,22 (ESV)
I just saw the ESPN.com NBA player ratings posted for the upcoming season. The top 100 were ranked before a single game was played.
This sure is fresh evidence of our penchant for comparison. It's all over our culture. It's in our water. It's in the air we breathe. It's in us too.
We all want to know where we stand, and it's most always in comparison. We all want to be sure of who is behind us and hope there's no one (or not many) in front of us.
Into this world steps Jesus. Every time we compare ourselves to others morally/spiritually, He says, "What is that to you? You follow Me."
Of all the games we play, there's one game for sure Jesus doesn't want us playing: “The Comparison Game.” It'll kill us. We'll walk away snake-bitten losers every time.
Righteousness is never based on comparison. Our salvation is never based on performance -- no wins, no rest found there.
So stop rating. Stop ranking. Put an end to comparative worth. It all hinges on following Him well.
To be sure, there is a place for ratings, but not in the case of personal righteousness or personal worth. Don't play that game.
Rank all you want in other domains. Have a ball! But there's no comparison to finding our eternal worth only in Him and through Him.
The way out of playing the comparison game is to play another game: “Follow the Leader.” Simply follow Him. No one else. Nothing else.
Reflect: In what area(s) of your life are you playing the “comparison game”? Name it. Name them. What can you do to stop playing that destructive game?
Are you committed to playing “Follow the Leader” every day? What way(s) must this take shape?
A prayer to consider: LORD, You lead. I'll follow. I'm done playing other games. They're such worthless distractions. I delete those apps.
There's no comparison to You. Keep me satisfied in this.
Thank you for the good examples You've sent me all along the way. I know it's really You behind them all. Amen.