Sunday, January 31, 2010


During this recent snow storm I do not remember how many times the question has been ask by me or someone else, “How much snow did you get?” There is something within our human frame that wants to compare our situation or experience with someone else. Some how we feel a little more privileged if we received an inch or two more than someone else.

By The Way, the same is often true in the spiritual realm. I remember so many times when I was a much younger pastor going to conferences and state Baptist gatherings, and inevitably some one would ask, “How many you running in church?” Or “How many did you baptize last year?” We would always try to give the “ministerially speaking" answer and make it as large as we could without feeling we were actually lying. The truth is, there is nothing spiritual at all about this. The older I get the less these things appeal to me, but before I start feeling proud of my spirituality; I still have to deal with this comparison thing in other ways. Perhaps they are a little more subtle, but they are present none the less. Now I am more apt to look at life accomplishments, places I have been, people I have met, important decisions I was part of, or awards I have or have not received.

Spirituality is not how we do in comparison with others. It has nothing to do with doing more, having more, experiencing more, or being better known that someone else. It has everything to do with our daily intimate walk with God. The greatest and most important call from Jesus Christ was, “follow me…”

I feel I must include a quote from one of Dr. Henry Blackaby’s devotions. It speaks to the subject at hand. Dr. Blackaby is talking about the appearance of Jesus on the sea shore after His resurrection. Here he addresses Peter. He had just given Peter the command to “Follow Him.”

“Rather than responding to what Jesus told him, Peter looked around at his fellow disciples. His glance fell upon John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. ‘But Lord, what about this man?’ Peter asked. Peter had just been given the somber news of his future death. How natural to compare his assignment with that of the others! This is the great temptation of God’s servants: to compare our situation with that of others. Did God give my friend a larger house? Did God heal my friend’s loved one and not mine? Did God allow my friend to receive appreciation and praise for his work while I remain anonymous? Did God allow another Christian to remain close to her family while I am far removed from mine?

Jesus assigned Peter and John to walk two different paths, but both Peter and John have enriched our lives. Jesus knew how dangerous it is when a servant takes his eyes off the master to focus on a fellow servant. Where is your focus? Have you become more concerned with how God is treating someone else than you are with how He is relating to you?”

I have heard criticism of another pastor or Christian worker with the words, “They are so heavenly minded they are of little earthly use. Can we be too heavenly minded? The problem all too often is, we are so earthly minded, we are of little heavenly use.

The Model prayer that Jesus taught His disciples contains the phrase, “Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” We are to be so in step with our Lord, so intimate with Him that we can be a conduit to bring Heaven’s will to our earthly situation. That would eliminate any human comparison of “spiritual” service.

Note these Scriptural references. John 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.(NKJV)

John 8:28 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.(NKJV)

We should be doing only those things we see the Father do, and speaking only those things we hear the Father speak.


1 comment:

Jim said...

Oh, how often we may become unconciously involved in a competitive comparison of results! We perhaps start out with honest sharing, or they do, and then the "game" begins. Minds are turned another's sharing to a mental exercise of our own "facts and figures" and looking for the first pause to inject US AND OURS into the game. Do we even listen to the other's sharing at all? Oh, me, how we can be drawn away by such.

You have captured the "game" well, my brother. Pray let us apply the lessons.

Cousin Jim-Dad