Comparison Trap

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.

Who do you compare yourself with?  Your neighbors?  Work associates? Family members? Your peers?

How does that make you feel? Superior? Proud? Or Cast down? Disappointed?

Comparing yourself one to another only leads to frustration and self-pity or if you are one of the select few, pompous and arrogant It may take time or may occur immediately, but the end result is realizing we all don’t have it. Someone will always be #1 in your industry, your peer group, and your family. But eventually #1 takes a back seat to someone else in due time.

However, when you truly realize you are included in Jesus Christ which means your identity is found solely in Christ, you can breathe a sense of fresh air knowing you are worth more than you believe, and possibly if you hold a high opinion of yourself, less than what you believe. Jesus Christ evens out the playing field.

In Christ, we all have what God designed us for. He designed us for good work and equip us with the necessary abilities for successful fulfilling His desires for us. When you realize each of us are uniquely empowered to glorify God in our work, relationships, and conduct, the praise goes to Him and not ourselves. Only God truly knows the effort we have employed to take our natural abilities and align them with Him in support of His kingdom.

For example, John the Baptist’s public ministry preceded Jesus and was very short term – approximately one year. Yet he even realized that his service was secondary to Jesus and even commented that his ministry must decline so Jesus’ may increase. He didn’t get caught up with the comparison trap but instead fulfilled his unorthodox mission and gladly stood aside for God’s glory. Jesus’ own reply-paid greater homage to John stating that no prophet was greater than him.

So, when you view the pages of your Facebook friends, or your associate gets the promotion you sincerely desired, or your neighbor drives home with a brand-new sports car that you always wanted, thank God. Thank God for your friends, associates, and neighbors, For, without them, you wouldn’t recognize how God’s Spirit of love was lacking in your heart without these events occurring. Thank God to make you aware so you can draw closer to Him until He becomes your prime joy and measurement of comparison. Then you will learn to walk humbly with your Lord, and serve Him, without expecting anything in return but to experience the love, joy, and generosity of your Creator. 

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


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Think God

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.” Philippians 3:14-15 ESV

think god2

The journey through life becomes more adventurous when one has purpose and meaning behind the people you meet, the circumstances you face, and the outcomes you seek. In hindsight, the people, places, and purposes all align into a pattern that help make you the person you are today and the person you will become tomorrow. Though in the beginning, each step is a movement of faith battling doubt.

For instance, we go to college selecting a major unsure where it will lead us. We marry the person who seems to be our soul mate yet are apprehensive whether or not it will last more than a few years. We accept a job offer on the other side of the country unsure whether or not the move will prove best for the future. With or without a game plan, we are tossed about by the circumstances of life.

When young, many of us learn that we can feed ourselves, cloth ourselves, make money, and relate with the opposite sex without God in our life. We blind ourselves in believing that everything is under our control because we know what we want and where we are going. Then something happens. We suffer loss. One of our life goals is taken away from us. It may happen because of a health crisis, a financial collapse, or an act by the government. Whatever the event, your life becomes empty. You grieve. You are angry. You are not sure which way to turn.

Then somewhere, someplace, somehow, you come into contact with the God of the universe. You begin to discover more about the Author of life through the Bible. You begin to realize how insignificant you are when compared to Him. Yet you also find out how much He loves you. That He has always been near you. At times He even intervene to help you even though you took the credit.

The more you begin to think on Him, you are drawn closer to know Him. You begin to see Him work in your life and in others. You begin to think God first when you meet a new person or restart a relationship with someone you haven’t met in awhile. You seek out God first in the circumstances and problems you are confronted with each day. Your thoughts are focused toward working with the Holy Spirit in the situation you are currently facing. God becomes more than an idea. He becomes real.

You begin to see how God has taken your journey through life and imprinted His character and values into your inner being. What seemed like a forty-year journey through the desert was really a discipleship mentoring process with your heavenly King. You have slowly learned how to think God first in every area of your life. Some people may have learned the process earlier and quicker. You are simply thankful God took the time to help you learn to think Him first.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

What Does The Christ-Centered Life Look Like? (3)

in christ“Anyone who is not with Me is against Me, and anyone who does not gather with Me scatters.”
Luke 11:22-24

From the outside looking in, one would never know whether a person is living a Christ-centered life or a Christ-Religious one. Typically, a Christ-Religious life is doing things for Christ. However a Christ-Centered life is doing things with Christ. It may be a matter of semantics for some, but the heart speaks louder than words or actions.

For example, when you walk into a room, are you looking to “save” people for Christ? Or are you looking to see how the Spirit is navigating the room and where you can partner with Him?
The difference between the two is that in the first scenario one has a preplanned agenda that “they” want done and the second is seeking how they may best serve Christ at that moment. The believer has come to a place where they now realize that God’s ways and means are absolutely different than ours.

The apostle Paul prior to his conversion is an example of the first type of person and then after his conversion he became the second. His focus prior to conversion was destroying Christians because they didn’t comply with his standards of righteousness (Acts 9:1-19). After Christ engaged him on the road to Damascus, then Paul (known then as Saul) changed his method of operations. Thereafter, he sought out the Spirit’s intentions and partnered with Him in his ministry.(Acts 13:2, 16:6)

In summary, a Christ-Religious life likes to parade around using theological terms, mannerisms, and performance standards that look impressive, but they lack the power of God (2 Timothy 3:5). On the other hand, a Christ-centered life is hidden in Jesus and most of the time the right hand is not even aware what the other hand is doing (Mathew 6:3). A Christ-centered life seeks to serve others “with Jesus” instead of “for Jesus.” Jesus is the center of our relationship with all people. We serve others based on His standard, His desires, and His Spirit, not necessarily what we want or believe.

OUR PRAYER

prayer 5

Holy Father – Holy Lord – Holy Spirit: Thank you for engaging us and deeply desiring to have a familial relationship with us. Thank you for being faithful and committed to loving us and accepting us as we are. Yet thank you also for wanting to better us and changing us to truly reflect your glory and divine nature.

We realize whatever good we possess is you and only you. We thank you for living in us and expressing yourself through us. Help us to glorify your name in everything we say, think, and do. Amen

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, Encourager
Author of Great Business Emulates A Good God
Portal: EnjoyLifeInChrist.com

If You Are Seeking a Devotional Study, Check Out My New Book Be Radical…Follow Christ.

What Does The Christ-Centered Life Look Like? (2)

in christ

“But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:32-34 (NSRV)

From a practical aspect, we allow Jesus’ story to become the main plot in our life. The question no longer is “what do I want?” Instead the core question becomes “what is Jesus doing that I may join him?” We learn through life’s challenges that as we seek Christ’s Kingdom, we discover that our required needs are satisfied. They may not always be according to our expectations or what we are accustomed too, but in hindsight we learn to place our trust in his provision which is what we truly needed at the time.

How often have we heard a person share their story of answered prayer? When everything looked bleak and all they could do is muster a short prayer of desperation. Then suddenly, a knock at the door and their laid a bag of groceries so their children would not go hungry another day. Or the business executive who didn’t know where to go for help to meet his payroll, but cried out to God for a solution. Then a phone call from a person who hasn’t spoken to him for years with a check in hand that would solve his immediate problems and create more opportunities for others. Again, the engineer stuck with an unsolvable problem and in frustrating and humility asks God for help. Then suddenly the inspiration comes to mind and the problem is solved. All of these are simple daily events that makes one realize that we are not alone. That the God of the universe, Father-Son-Spirit, is active and involved in our lives.

In a brief summary, a CC life is focused on Jesus, not the self. The aim and motivation is to elevate Jesus in the eyes of all we come into contact. As we yield our self unto the Triune God’s hand, we develop a bond of trust with Him. As we ask and commune with Him, we witness His involvement that eventually brings about our requests for His glory. Over time, we build a close familial relationship like a child with a loving, engaged parent. For most of us, when the pride is gone, we eventually come to the end of ourselves. Typically, it is through the trials and tests of life that we realize our need of God. Like the apostle Paul, we come to realize that when we are weak, our strength (Jesus )rises to the occasion (2 Corinthians 12:9). Over time we give him more and more leeway to lead and influence us as his new creation. Then like David of Goliath fame, our Lord becomes our strength and refuge (Psalm 59:16). Outsiders begin to witness a divine change in your countenance and demeanor. God is slowly expressing Himself through you.

 

OUR PRAYER

PRAYER 1

Holy Father – Holy Lord – Holy Spirit: Thank you for your love, mercy, and grace upon us. Thank you for redeeming us Jesus and restoring the relationship between heaven and earth; between Father God and humanity. Thank you for your sacrificial love and continual empowerment through your Spirit. Thank you for covering us and hiding us in you. ; We long for the time to celebrate your plan, your work, and your glory. Whether at work, at home, or at play, we thank you and praise you as our King, Teacher, Savior, Helper, Friend, and Brother. Help us to hear you and follow your lead in our life each and every day. So Be It.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, Encourager
Author of Great Business Emulates A Good God
Portal: EnjoyLifeInChrist.com

If You Are Seeking a Devotional Study, Check Out My New Book Be Radical…Follow Christ.