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looking in. I hate seeing anyone intentionally left out. Yet there are times when feeling on the outside is the only thing that causes us to look within. In that way, the list was a gift because it located me. So how about those Scriptures, the ones John suggested, the ones I knew? First, there is 2 Corinthians 10:12: Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. (ESV) Learn from me. Don’t you dare classify, compare or commend yourself. Why? It is an action of pride, even if the comparison you make is unfavorable. Pride imbalances one end of the spectrum, while insecurity cripples the other. There is but one true measure, the immeasurable Christ. Here’s another one of the Scriptures I could have turned to: John 5:44:

COMPARISON WILL ATTEMPT TO PUFF YOU UP THROUGH THE INSIDIOUS VEHICLE OF PRIDE, OR IT WILL PUSH YOU DOWN THROUGH THE TYRANNY OF INSECURITY. is perfect, it is not going to happen.) There is no lifetime achievement list or award that can ever write with assurance the words God alone can scribe on your heart: Loved, beautiful, valued, intimately known, mine. No matter what it looks like from the outside, God understands what causes the quaking of a woman’s heart, and God knows how to calm the frenzy of women in pajamas who forget to still their souls before comparison comes to steal their peace. As Theodore Roosevelt so aptly wrote, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Comparison has a pull to it. If allowed to, it will always move you away from your truest center. Comparison will attempt to puff you up through the insidious vehicle of pride, or it will push you down through the tyranny of insecurity. Either way it will not be long until you feel as though you are off-kilter and on the outside

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How do you expect to get anywhere with God when you spend all your time jockeying for position with each other, ranking your rivals and ignoring God? (The Message) Why would we waste our time ranking our rivals when we have been invited into the presence of the unrivaled God? Whenever I allow my life to be defined by people, I find my connection with my heavenly Father slipping. Soon my vantage is distorted by what I see and hear people say about who I am, and I forget God’s declaration of who I am becoming. I hope you can laugh at my ridiculous morning and arrest any of your own tendencies toward comparison. The opportunity to know Jesus is our highest privilege. When I reached for my phone rather than choosing to know Him more, I chose the lesser thing. Let’s not be satisfied with human lists and comparisons. When we notice the pangs of inadequacy that rivalry inflicts, let’s hit our knees and ask for a revelation of the One who is without rival. LISA BE VERE is a minister and best-selling author. This essay was adapted from Lisa’s new book, Without Rival: Embrace Your Identity and Purpose in an Age of Confusion and Comparison (Revell, 2016).

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RELEVANT-Issue 84- November/December 2016  
RELEVANT-Issue 84- November/December 2016