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The TOXIC Tongue of Comparison

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Words matter. God speaks loud and long regarding the power of our words.  One prime example, Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue can bring both death or life (NLT).”

While there are many expressions of a toxic tongue, comparing ourselves to others leads to words of death. Comparisons can be a carefully laid trap that will lead you down a road of relational ruin.  Sinful comparing tends to measure our own worth through the lens of others’ lifestyle or accomplishments.  Ecclesiastes 4:4 notes, “Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors.  But this, too, is meaningless ­– like chasing the wind (NLT).”

Attempting to find your own identity by comparing yourself to others will lead you into anidentity crisis.  God does not call us to discover our identity by studying the life of our neighbor.  Rather, the Holy Spirit reveals our own uniqueness as we grow in the likeness of Christ.  Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago (NLT).”  The energy we give to measure ourselves with others would be much better used exploring the unique gifts God has deposited in our own lives.

Comparing words eventually lead to two extremes: insecurity or arrogance.  If you think you’re not measuring up, it leads to great insecurity.  That low view robs you of your God-given potential.  On the other hand, you might have an inflated view of yourself after looking down on the weaknesses of others.  That arrogance can fuel a religious spirit that feeds pride.

To be sure, there is a place for learning from others.  Yet, this kind of humble pursuit is born from a secure identity in Christ.  You are not measuring your value by comparing yourself to others.

As we wrestle with the common temptation of toxic comparing, consider praying these prayers as you read your Bible:

God, I RECEIVE the fully unique, authentic identity you give me in Christ.

God, I choose to BELIEVE that what you say about me in the Bible is true.

God, I will DAILY DISCOVER who I am made to become in Christ.

God, I will stop whining, comparing, and complaining… I will DO with what I have been given!

Posted on October 27, 2014