Stop Comparing my Christianity to Yours

Standard

My translation of the Bible is better than your translation.
Hymns are better than choruses.
The Contemporary service is better than the Traditional one.
My version of baptism is better than yours.
My church is larger than yours.
My denomination is better than yours.
My theology is better than theirs.
I attend more church, tithe more, volunteer more, read more scripture, pray longer, and worship more than you.


I gossip less, smoke less, drink less, swear less, party less, and sin less than you.
I’m married and you’re divorced.
We practiced abstinence while they had premarital sex.
I have more Christian friends than them.
My understanding of scripture is better than yours.
I’m fluent in Greek and Hebrew and you aren’t.
I attended Seminary and they didn’t.
I believe in young-earth creationism and they believe in evolution.
I’m a Democrat and they’re a Republican.
I’m a vegan and they love to hunt, fish, and eat meat.
We homeschool and they put their kids in public schools.
We eat organic and they always eat fast food.
We spank our children and they don’t.
We are blessed with money and they aren’t.
I’m an official elder on the church board and he’s just a custodian.
I’ve believed in Jesus longer than she has.
She had an abortion and I didn’t.
We were missionaries and they weren’t.

It’s absurdly natural for humans to want to compare, but there are few things more dangerous during the Christian journey than spiritually comparing yourself to others. We constantly evaluate ourselves against the standards of others without wholeheartedly putting our trust in God.

The temptation is to judge others and self-righteously pat ourselves on the back for being “good Christians.” Or we can become hopelessly depressed. Guilt, shame, pride, and legalism can quickly creep into our spiritual lives when we start comparing, and we often start constructing false ideals that are impossible to achieve. We need to recognize that everyone—including ourselves—is God’s creation, holy and sacred, made in His image.

Christ continually warns against judging and comparing ourselves to others, but unfortunately, much of Christian culture has failed to grasp this. Infighting, theological bickering, and spiteful attacks divide Christian communities and continually ruin relationships—just go to a Christian website and read through the comment sections. Hate is alive and well.

The world watches as churches split, pastors indict, and Christians accuse each other of being heretics, false prophets, and liars. We positively reinforce the communities we align ourselves with while simultaneously tear down those who disagree with us. Christians have a tendency to self-destruct because we love attacking ourselves. Instead of the fruits of the Spirit, we can easily exhibit the fruits of our secular society: revenge, bigotry, manipulation, disdain, disgust, power, control, profit, and alienation.

It’s easy to lose sight of Christ’s message, one that was simply about service, sacrifice, and love. Let’s not let our hidden agendas—ones that are often based on comparative measures—separate us from the love of God.

This piece was published on redletterchristians.org here

 

25 thoughts on “Stop Comparing my Christianity to Yours

  1. I couldn’t agree more that this is becoming more & more evident in our world today. I can’t help but think that this just reinforces the truth of heart vs. head..that faith is so much more about the condition of our hearts rather than only the knowledge in our head.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Stephen Mattson

      totally agree, it’s so easy to get up with trivial stuff that we completely forget about the condition of our hearts. Thanks for sharing!

  2. born4apurpose

    I like what you said, I totally agree. My pastor has often said we need to spend more time looking vertically than horizontally. The world is broken and they are looking for a way out. The church is just as broken in some ways which offers no hope to the lost. God help us!

  3. I absolutely LOVE this. So very true. It made me think of The Message version of Galatians 5:26, “[W]e will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.” Thank you for the reminder that my walk is with Jesus, not the world.

  4. Once again, I agree with your point wholeheartedly. We are far too committed to division via one-upmanship than we are to the unity and love Jesus preached and commanded. Love one another? Pray for our enemies? Wha- what? Me? Sorry. Talk to the hand. Too busy serving! ;-)

  5. Stephen Mattson

    Thanks, Susan! I appreciate all of your encouragement! Yeah, sometimes the entire idea of loving others, especially your enemies is just so hard to accept.

  6. bjcfn997

    Dude, your blogs are outstanding. You are so honest and open about the way we as Christians live. Also, your writing is very well thought out. You have some profound thoughts to. God bless you!

  7. In some respects, this is more prominent today than it was when I was a wee lad attending church w/ my parents. But then, I was a kid, what did I know.

    As I see it today, it is the immature in Christ that make the comparisons you mentioned. You will never hear anyone who is truly abiding in Christ making such statements. The mature in Christ are focused on attending to the body of Christ and those in need.

    I would suggest that if one who claims to be abiding in Christ is taking time to make comparison statements, then they are self-centered instead of Christ-centered.

    It is good to remember that Christ rebuked his disciples when they thought more of themselves than they did of others (cf. Luke 9:53-55; Mark 9:38-39; 10:35-41)

  8. Stephen Mattson

    So true, Karl! When I was in Bible school I used to be VERY judgmental towards others, but then I grew up and started maturing in my faith…and realized that I had made many huge mistakes and wasn’t focusing on Christ at all.

  9. I agree! Once we are saved we are supposed to die to the flesh (sinful nature). I think we are also called to think less of “me, I, mine” and think more about how to bring Glory to God and His kingdom. Arguing and judging does just the opposite. Part of being saved is laying down selfish pride and carrying your cross. We are called to love thy neighbor not “pretend to love thy neighbor and turn around and slander thy neighbor.” Great post!

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