Pick up a yardstick to measure your life against anyone else's, and you've just picked up a stick and beaten up your own soul. (Ann Voskamp)
I wonder just how many of us have done what Ms. Voskamp describes here - measuring our life against another's and another's until we are left feeling 'less than' or 'worse than' another. I think her observation of the 'yardstick' becoming an instrument that actually leaves us a little battered is quite appropriate. Maybe even more important is the root of the matter - we were never called to measure ourselves against others because others are not the standard by which we 'measure up'. Christ is and only him!
We have our own story to write - this is the crux of the matter when it comes to comparing ourselves to anyone else. We are not the same - we each are created with things that make us uniquely who and what we are. In Christ, we are all 'equal', but we aren't all the 'same'. We are to be growing in the grace he has given, comparison having no opportunity to present stumbling blocks in our lives. Some of us think it is what we have done, but God wants us to recognize it is what he has done with us.
No one burden is the same. No one accomplishment is equal. We could both get an A+ on a paper we have written, but the content of the paper will be different even though the subject may be the same. We are each purposeful in our writing, but our purpose is uniquely displayed in the words captured on the page. With our life actions, we are purposeful and that purpose is uniquely displayed in the actions brought forth. No two actions will be the same. You may give into the offering plate, and I may do the same. As Jesus showed us many years ago, the purposeful action behind the widow's mite given in true sacrificial form did not equal the shekels plunked down by the man who could actually 'afford' the offering.
We somehow do this mental 'measurement' thing without even know we are doing it. We look at others, see what they do / don't do, then place some 'value' upon those actions. Then we compare the 'value' of our actions with theirs - all the while oblivious to the very action of 'comparing ourselves' that is going on in our minds and hearts. It is a subconscious thing. We don't even know we are engaging in this very dangerous thing until we begin to see ourselves taking action based upon what we have 'measured' in our minds.
Don't be duped into measuring up to anyone other than Jesus. Remember, in Christ we already 'measure up' to every standard possible. We still are uniquely different than the other person right next to you in this walk with Christ, but we are all uniquely the same, too. We have no need to 'measure' ourselves against others because that desire to 'measure up' stems from a root of pride. We will never be 'equal' on any other playing field than the one Christ has leveled for all of us. Just sayin!