Yesterday we spent the day celebrating the birth of our nation and the freedom we have here in the USA. I thought it was appropriate that one of the themes of my study of 2 Corinthians yesterday morning was true freedom in Christ– particularly freedom from comparison.
Paul was writing to the members of the church in Corinth who were measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves with themselves (2 Cor. 10:12). This topic wasn’t hard for me to relate to! I am guilty of looking around to see what standard others are aiming for and trying to reach for those OR determining if I am a success based on these worldly values.
It takes time in the Word with the Lord to reconcile my heart’s desires and goals with His desires and goals for my life. Quiet, consistent, prioritized time to lean in and listen to what The Lord has purposed for me. Not an easy task in our fast-paced world. Add in social media, which doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, and we all have plenty of opportunities to compare. We catch glimpses of the best snapshots of someone’s life and put down the glowing rectangle feeling like somehow we aren’t measuring up.
Measuring up to what though??
The HCSB version of 2 Corinthians 10:13 brought some freedom to my heart yesterday, and I thought I would share it.
“We, however, will not boast beyond measure but according to the measure of the area of ministry that God has assigned to us, which reaches even to you.”
Did you catch it? “according to the measure of the area of ministry that God has assigned…” God gives me my assignments. He sets the standards. He knows what success looks like in my life, and I am pretty sure it looks quite different than what the world defines as success. Even different than what my fellow Believers think success looks like in my life. My purpose and ministry is given by God, assigned to me for HIS glory. And that is what I should boast in! “For it is not who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends (2 Cor. 10:18).
Like I tell my children when they are tempted to get into other people’s business or respond to someone based on what that person did instead of responding based on what is right or when they want to do something just because someone else is doing it—-Draw a circle around yourself— I need that reminder when it comes to freedom from comparison. The Lord sees me and knows me and has plans and purposes for me to walk in! I don’t want to miss out on those by measuring myself against others or comparing myself with others.
“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesian 2:10