I know we are not to compare ourselves with other Christians, but how do you stop yourself from getting down on yourself when you feel others, even those who are newer to the faith, are walking God’s walk better than you are?
You can’t compare apples to oranges or cake to cookies. Let apples be apples and let the cake be the cake. What I mean by this is sometimes we look at someone else and try to compare ourselves to them, but maybe you’re an apple and they’re an orange. Your walk with the Lord will always be individualized. This is not to say don’t press in more with God, or that you’re fine where you’re at, but rather to encourage you to stop looking around at others wondering why you’re not like them. Who cares?!
Believe it or not, we all go through this, even as pastors. I find that as a mom and the organizer of our lives, distraction with everyday life is HUGE. It might take me 10 times more to read the same scripture sometimes because I notice the dishes, someone asks me for something, or I’m trying to figure out that night’s dinner menu… all while wondering if the laundry is ready to be dried and this and that and this and that… you get what I’m saying. If we tried to compare ourselves with others through the lens of always feeling like we’re falling short, we’d never get anywhere. If we’d look clearly, we’d surely find we’ve all got different stuff and nobody has it all figured out.
The Bible warns against coveting in both the Old and New Testament. (Deut. 5:21, Romans 7:7) I believe this incorporates even coveting other’s walk with the Lord. No relationship is going to be the same. That’s ok. What we need to focus on is seeking Him, with our eyes on Him, not others. Proverbs 8:17, “I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.” If you want to walk more closely with God, it’s up to you. It doesn’t depend on others, or even on God, but it depends on your diligence to seek Him.
That being said, as we grow with God it requires a lot more stirring ourselves up. (2 Tim. 1:6) We can equate it to a honeymoon stage of a relationship. It’s super exciting at first, but as time goes on, it’s more about a partnership than the thrill of it all. If you’re married you understand this, a lot of days, life looks like you’re business partners or even prison marshals if your have teenagers! My husband and I make it a point to spend special alone time together, date each other and step away from the work of life in order to stay stirred in our love for one another. We know that relationships take effort and we put that effort in! With the Lord, it’s very similar. If we think walking as a Christian is always easy and always makes us feel excited, we’re mistaken. There’s a partnership involved that requires our effort.
What does seeking Him look like? Well, it requires us to continually commit our hearts to His Word and Spirit. Come to church, take notes, reread those notes, ask questions. Read your Bible, ask questions. Surround yourself with godly friends who build you up in your faith and ask questions. Get the theme here? Look at Luke 11:9 in the Amplified Bible, “So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you.” The deeper things with the Lord only come by continually seeking Him. Let that be your focus. Be continually stirring yourself in your love and desire for Him and pretty soon you won’t even be looking at that person sitting next to you.