Read 2 Corinthians 10:12-13
12 Oh,don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other,using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!
13 We will not boast about things done outside our area of authority. We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the work God has given us,which includes our working with you. (NLT)
It has been said that comparison is the death of true contentment. Just as we begin to grasp our significance in Christ,just as we soberly and realistically acknowledge our genuine achievements,we cast a glance at someone else and realise just how poorly we compare with them. They have got the breaks we didn’t get. They seem to have success which puts our own attainments in the shade.
Paul was afflicted by such people at Corinth. People who loved to eloquently declare their special knowledge and super-spiritual power. Paul doesn’t sink into despondency as a result. He recognises how empty their so-called achievements are. They are an insular circle of self-admiration,a mutual backslapping society.
Paul traces his own ministry record back to God’s appointing him to do his work. He will stand on that record and not be either puffed up by success or demoralised by comparing his record with others. He is accountable to God for what God has invited him to do,not for what others might or might not be doing.
Envy of others,compulsive comparisons with others,prevent us from freely discovering our own unique significance before God. We are always measuring ourselves against others,gloating over their failures or resenting their successes. All the time not entirely sure of just how to define a failure or a success. It is all too easy to look at other Christians and figure they have it made: they have got what we lack. True,we can be inspired and encouraged by the good models of others. But never forget that there are only two types of Christians in the world: those who struggle and let you know they struggle,and those who struggle and keep it to themselves.