In The Potential Principle, Mark Sanborn talks about the problem of comparison and the need for comparison. Here is my take on that idea.
The problem is when we compare ourselves with others. That is usually a painful and futile path. We suffer as a result of those comparisons. We experience twinges (or more) of envy, jealously, and insecurity. We are disappointed. Frustrated. Even angry. Or perhaps, depending on the direction of your comparison, you feel superior and proud. Not that most of us would admit to these feelings.
That’s the problem of comparison.
But there is also the need for comparison. We need standards and examples and models that inspire us. We need to appreciate quality. We want to admire what is good, beautiful, and true – and to aim to become that. Hebrews 11 is called the Hall of Faith and, in part, it is provided to inspire us to a life of faithful followership.
Here is the “secret” that makes comparison powerful and good. It is when you compare who you currently are to the person you can and will become. You see where you are right now, and you envision your potential. You see what focused growth will make possible. You understand what a life of dedication and devotion will produce when you walk that “long obedience in the same direction.”
It is also refreshing, from time to time, to look back at who and what you once were and compare that with who you are today. You remember what God has done in your life. You have the satisfaction of knowing that while you are not yet who you will be one day, you are not who you once were.
You are in motion. You are in process. You are making progress. And there is more. Much more. So much more. For you, the best is yet to come. God is continuing his good work in you and he promises he will bring it to completion (Philippians 2:13; 1:6).
That is part of the incredibly good news of the gospel of Jesus.
I’ll share a few more thoughts on this tomorrow.
With you on the Journey of Becoming,