Wednesday, August 27, 2014
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I remember the summer that I trained two teams of young people for ministry. I went as a speaker with the South Team. The other team was the North Team.
Now, both teams had been sleeping on the floor at training camp-these are tough kids. But things changed when they got on the road. Our team stayed in
private homes with real beds. They were happy campers...or happy not-campers I guess.
What they didn't know was where the North Team was staying. Someone who had just come from one of their meetings said to me, "Ron, you should see where they're staying. It's this beautiful camp. It's got beds and cabins, they're swimming in the river, they've got a lounge, they've got a great basketball court. It's like a resort. I guess you could call the accommodations "luxurious". My response was pretty simple, and in a way it was a request built in, "My team is happy." I wanted them to stay that way.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Compare Snare."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Corinthians 10:12. When I heard that the other team was living more luxuriously than our team, I
thought, "Well, what our team doesn't know won't hurt them...or me." There's a sin in the Bible called coveting. It's serious enough to be included in the
Ten Commandments. It occurred to me that our kids wouldn't covet if they didn't compare, right? Well, neither will you and I.
2 Corinthians 10:12, "We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves, and
compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. The simple message here from God, "It's not wise to compare." Our team was content all week because
they were comparing where they were to where they had been on those floors; not comparing themselves to where someone else was.
We can have this wonderful peace the Bible calls contentment if we live that same way. It says in the Bible, "Godliness with contentment is great gain."
Comparison is the exit ramp to the sin of coveting. Maybe you're restless and a little bit negative in your spirit right now because you've started to fall
into the compare sin. You could compare your house with someone else's, or your mate, or your income, or your job, or your looks.
Maybe you're comparing your ministry to someone else's ministry, or your opportunities. But you could be comparing your singleness to the married people
you're with. Or you're looking at your standard of living compared to those of people around you. You're comparing, you're probably coveting. And you're
probably anything but content. Right?
John 21, Jesus was telling Peter about his future, including that he would ultimately die for the Lord. Peter turns around and looks at John and says,
"When he saw him, he asked, 'Lord, what about him?' Jesus answered, 'If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow
Me." He basically said to Peter, "What I'm going to do with John is none of your business, so don't compare yourself to him. You follow Me."
When you try to compare you with someone else, would you listen to Jesus? He says, "I've got a unique plan for each life. My plan for that person's life
would not fit you. I created you. I know exactly what you need. I know when you need it. I am your Shepherd, "You shall not want. Would you please relax
and enjoy the trip and let me do my unique thing with you?"
I watched the contented group of teenagers live without comparing and therefore without coveting. We know how the others are living, so we have to choose
contentment. Comparing is a road that only leads to certain destinations: unhappiness and disobedience. God is doing something one-of-a-kind with you. So,
you just can't be compared.