When we look at ourselves, and then at those around us, it is easy to compare. We can compare in order to bring ourselves pride and think we’re bettter than others- and we know that is clearly wrong. But what if you compare yourself to others to help yourself be thankful? Is that right?
Sayings like, “Eat your vegetables, there are starving children who would be grateful for that food.” Or “You should be happy, there are people with terminal diseases who don’t have much time, and you were only late for work.” Or “Don’t complain about your life, think about those soldiers who are facing death itself every day, you have it better than them.”
While such comparisons may be made in with completely good intentions – they are not Biblical at all. The Bible never tells us to compare our lot with others, in order to be thankful.
It just tells us to be thankful. To rejoice. To love.
The word of God carries no clause like, “Think of poor _______ you should be thankful.” It just commands that we be thankful.
In fact, the word of God tells us that those who compare themselves to others are not wise. The last part of Colossians 3:15 tells us, “be ye thankful.” It’s as simple as that. We should not be thankful for any other reason than to please our Lord.
If we are to compare ourselves, we are to compare ourselves with Christ. 1 Peter 2:21 says, “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” If we are to follow Christ’s steps, then that means we must look to where He stepped.
Would Christ be thankful for his food? Would Christ do the work He was called to without complaint? Would Christ love someone without bounds?
There is no need to cast your gaze upon others and try to bring yourself to a right attitude by feeling bad for another. I challenge you, have compassion for others, and show Christ’s love whenever you can, but have right attitudes because they are right, not because someone is worse off than you.