How Good Are You?

A game that many people play is to compare themselves to others. Comparing ourselves to others has many dangers. When we compare ourselves to others, we may think we are doing better than we are. Comparing ourself to others may cause us to lose site of the good we are doing. By doing our work to the best of our ability, we can know, without comparison to others, that we have done the best work possible. The value of our work is not determined by comparing our work to what others have done.

The biggest mistake the Pharisees made was comparing themselves to others. By comparing themselves to others, they got a false sense of righteousness. Paul warned in Galatians 6:3, "If you think you are better than others, when you really aren't, you are wrong." When we compare ourselves to others, we may think we are better than they are, and, in the process, our work is not always the best that we can produce. By comparing ourselves to people who have less talent or ability than us, we tend to become slack in our work, and we may not produce our best work. This type of comparison tends to make us lazy.

Often, the exact opposite is true. When we compare ourselves to others, we see what a great job they do. Our work is not nearly as polished or professional as theirs. We begin to look down on ourselves, and after a time, we give up the work altogether. The work is then left undone. Self-inflicted worthlessness results, and it makes us unusable by both God and man. We become self-pitying slugs, who would rather moan about how worthless we are rather than putting forth the effort to accomplish the job.

The best strategy for accomplishing our work is to do our best. By not comparing ourselves to others and setting in our mind to do our best, we produce our best work. When we use our talents and skills to the best of our ability, we will produce good work. I am not suggesting that we should not improve or polish our talents and skills, but I am saying that we should use the skills we have to produce our absolute best work.

Comparing ourselves to others, leads to lazy, half-baked, and unfinished work. However, when we put our best effort into our work, using our talents and skills as we know how, the result of our effort is good. The Apostle Paul said it best in Galatians 6:4: "Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don't compare yourself with others." The value of our work is not determined by comparing our work to what others have done, but by doing the best possible job we can do.

Scripture taken from the Contemporary English Version 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.

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