Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
In a recent forum post I read (which I am unable to access anymore), someone pointed out that every time we compare ourselves to someone else, we are engaging in idol worship - holding ourselves or another in such high regards. To this, my husband asked how we are supposed to know where we stand and how to be better if we don't compare ourselves to other people. To that, I responded that we should not be comparing ourselves to others. We should only be comparing ourselves to who we are today and work to be better tomorrow. He accepted that answer and we left it at that.
The conversation above was at least a week ago. It was not until today that I realized I had not completely answered my husband's question. Sure, we should not be comparing ourselves to others; we need to view ourselves as our competitor, not others. However, the question of how to gauge our progress still remains. Who or what are we trying to be more like? To what goal are we working towards when we say we are trying to be better today than we were yesterday? Better in what way? The answer is Jesus.
There is only one man that has ever been perfect and therefore worthy of our emulating. Every day, our goal should be to become more like Jesus than we were the day before. When we compare ourselves to Jesus, it is impossible to feel prideful. Curiously, I believe it is also impossible to feel jealousy or envy or hate for His perfection. This concept is even more compelling when you understand that our goal in life to continue to grow. No matter how much we try, we can never be as perfect a human being as Jesus and that guarantees a life long journey of improvement.
So from now on, instead of comparing yourself to your coworkers, neighbors, friends or relatives, ask yourself this question:
Am I more like Jesus today than I was yesterday?