The Only Person You Should Try To Be Better Than,
Updated: Mar 27, 2019
…is the person you were yesterday.
Some people may live their lives striving to be better than others or they may think they are superior to others. This usually happens when they compare themselves with others which can lead to negative traits such as jealousy and pride. Therefore, the only person we should try to be better than is the one we were yesterday.
This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.
I don’t consciously try to be better than others, but if I am tempted to think I’m better in a particular area; God reminds me to channel those feelings of pride into gratitude. Because every good thing in my life I owe to His abundant grace and mercy. I can’t take the credit for anything. Every blessing comes from Him and He deserves all the praise, glory and honor.
I’ve always struggled with feelings of inferiority and insecurity because I tend to compare myself with others. Comparison is a fruitless habit that makes me feel worse, because comparison leads me to believe I’m either better or less than others. So, I either have pride or feelings of jealousy and self-pity. Either way, I end up feeling bad about myself.
One sure-fire way to live a miserable life is to strive to be better than other people.
I’m not against healthy competition, just getting caught in the trap of comparison.
The Bible has an answer for this issue.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” (Romans 12:3 NIV)
We should think of ourselves with sober judgment.
In addition, each person has strengths and weaknesses; and no one is perfect. Everyone is struggling with something and no one has their life all together; although it may seem that way to outsiders.
If we think we are better than others we may be prideful and we don’t have to go very far in the Bible to see how God feels about pride and humility.
James 4:6 says, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (ESV)
Matthew 23:12 says, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (ESV)
The truth is we can’t be better than the person we were yesterday without the help of the Holy Spirit. With God’s help, we can honestly examine our own strengths and weaknesses, so we can be better than the person we were yesterday.
If we want to compare ourselves with someone, we should use Christ as our example. The Bible tells us to have the same mindset and humility as Christ. Even though He was God, He didn’t use it to His advantage, but made Himself a servant.
Philippians 2:3-8 says, “3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (NIV)
If anyone had a right to think He was better than others it was Jesus Christ. But, He possessed true humility as He humbled himself to the point of death on a cross for our sins.
True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. – Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?
Do you struggle with trying to be better than others?
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