Sermons

Summary: We are always comparing ourselves to each other. we should: 1. Stop comparing ourselves to each other 2. Not resist Godly change 3. Know who we are in Jesus Christ

4/20/2008

AVOIDING THE COMPARISON TRAP

2 CORINTHIANS 10:12-18

INTRO-

THIS MORNING I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THE COMPARISON TRAP. THE TRAP WHERE WE MEASURE OUR WORTH BY THE STANDARD OF SOMEONE ELSE. LOOK AT THE ACRONYM GAS- GIFTS, ATTITUDES, SKILLS. THIS IS USUALLY HOW WE MEASURE WORTH. THE GAS PEDAL OF LIFE. POWERED BY THESE THREE AGENTS ALONE WILL LEAVE YOU DISAPPOINTED AND EMPTY.

IN 2 CORINTHIANS 10;

APOSTLE PAUL IS ADDRESSING AND IS IN DEFENSE OF HIS MINISTRY. PAUL HAS PEOPLE STIRRING UP TROUBLE AND REALLY MICRO MANAGING HIS MINISTRY. THEY CAME AGAINST HIS LEADERSHIP. THEY CAME AGAINST HIS CHARACTER. THEY IMPLIED THAT HE WAS A LOUSY SPEAKER. HE WROTE GOOD LETTERS, BUT WHEN THEY HEARD HIM IN PERSON, HE WAS NOT IMPRESSIVE. FOR A PREACHER THAT IS BAD REALLY BAD HE GATHERS HIS THOUGHTS, HE PUTS PRIORITY TO HIS LIFE AND THE VICTIM BECOMES THE TEACHER TO THOSE THAT ARE AROUND HIM.

(V5)- I AM NOT ARGUING, THE WEAPONS WAGED AGAINST ME ARE OF THE WORLD, MY DEVINE POWER COMES FROM GOD. I MUST TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST. (PARAPHRASED)

2 CORINTHIANS 10:12-18 READ FROM BIBLE

(V12)- LIVING BIBLE- “THE TROUBLE WITH SOME MEN IS THAT THEY ARE ONLY COMPARING THEMSELVES WITH EACH OTHER, AND MEASURING THEMSELVES AGAINST THEIR OWN LITTLE IDEAS, WHAT STUPIDITY

THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE:

PROUD, PASSIVE, COMPLEX, UNTEACHABLE, DEFIANT,

UNDER-ACHIEVING, OVER-ACHIEVING, PERFECTIONIST.

YOU GET THE POINT, WE TRY TO COMPARE OURSELVES TO ALL OF THEM, NO WONDER WE FEEL EMPTY. WE COMPARE OURSELVES AT WORK, HOME, CHURCH, IF YOU WERE MORE LIKE SO AND SO

IF YOU COULD DO THE JOB LIKE SO AND SO

WE ARE HARD ON OURSELVES:

IF I COULD SING, I DO MORE IN THE CHURCH.

IF I COULD SPEAK AND TEACH, I WOULD EXCEL AT WORK.

IF ONLY I WOULD GET A BREAK LIKE SO AND SO, I COULD HAVE ALL OF THOSE NICE THINGS TOO

WE LIVE IN A DAY AN AGE WHERE MOST PEOPLE ARE HURTING, THEY ARE CARRYING A LOT OF BAGGAGE IN THEIR LIFE. THEY ARE LOOKING AT SOMEONE ELSE TO BE LIKE, BUT WHEN TRUTH BE TOLD, THOSE PEOPLE ARE AS BAD OR WORSE THAN YOU ARE. PEOPLE LIVE OUT OF CONTROL. I KNOW SOME OF YOU HERE THIS MORNING ARE THERE. YOU ARE LOOKING FOR ANSWERS. DON’T LOOK AT YOUR NEIGHBOR , LOOK AT JESUS CHRIST AND REALIZE THAT HE IS WHAT YOU NEED.

HERE WE GO-

IF YOU ARE GOING TO AVOID THE COMPARISON TRAP THAT THE DEVIL THROWS OUT YOU MUST:

I. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS

ASK YOURSELF-QUESTION- DO I EVER FEEL JEALOUS AROUND PEOPLE WHO ARE MORE TALENTED OR HAVE MORE OPPORTUNITY THAN I? IF THE ANSWER IS YES- YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT THE ABILITIES WE HAVE COME FROM GOD. EACH OF US HAVE BEEN GIVEN AT LEAST ONE TALENT AND MANY ABILITIES. COMPARING OUR ABILITIES AND TALENTS CAUSES JEALOUSY.

1 SAM. 18:5-12 READ

QUESTION- DO I SECRETLY ENVY MY PEERS WHO HAVE MORE OR MAKE MORE THAN I DO?

COMPARING POSSESSIONS CAUSES ENVY. COMPARING OUR PROBLEMS CAUSES SELF-PITY AND RESENTMENT.

QUESTION- DO I ALLOW OTHER PEOPLE TO DETERMINE THE GOALS OF MY LIFE.

COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS IS MISSING WHAT GOD HAS FOR YOUR LIFE. APOSTLE PAUL CALLS IT STUPIDITY

ILLUSTRATION-

A FATHER HAD A SON WHO DEVELOPED MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY AS A TEENAGER.. HE BECAME IN LIFE A SEVERELY CRIPPLED MAN. THE BOY LOVED TO RUN AND RACE BEFORE HE BECAME CRIPPLED. THE FATHER ENTERED HIM AND HIS SON IN A MARATHON. THE FATHER IN HIS LATE 40’S EARLY 50’S AND HIS SON IN HIS 20’S. THE FATHER CARRIED HIS SON THROUGHOUT THE MARATHON. THERE WAS A SWIMMING PART, THE FATHER SWAM AND PULLED HIS SON IN A RUBBER BOAT. THERE WAS A BIKE PART, IT WAS A BIKE WITH A SEAT ATTACHED FOR HIS SON TO RIDE IN. THERE WAS THE RUNNING PART, HE PUSHED HIS SON IN A MODIFIED STROLLER

DON’T LET SOMEONE ELSE DICTATE YOUR LIFE. DON’T COMPARE YOUR DREAM AND VISION TO WHAT SOMEONE ELSE HAS OR HAS NOT. DO YOU WANT THE APPROVAL OF MEN OR OF GOD? LET JESUS CHRIST BE OUR MODEL, THIS WAY WHEN WE ALL FALL SHORT, WE CAN HOLD ON WITH THE GRACE OF GOD AND WORK AT BECOMING THE IMAGE OF GOD AND NOT SOMEONE ELSE.

IF WE ARE TO AVOID THE COMPARISON TRAP WE MUST NOT RESIST THE CHANGE THAT THE LORD NEEDS TO MAKE IN US.

ILLUSTRATION-

STORY TOLD OF A FATHER WHO HAD A SON THAT WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD AND STILL SUCKING HIS THUMB HE WOULD CALL HIM THUMBSUCKER, BABY THUMBSUCKER, IT JUST GOT WORST. THE LORD ONE DAY CONVICTED THE FATHER ABOUT THE NAMES AND SAID, I DON’T CALL YOU NAMES WHEN YOU FALL SHORT. STOP CALLING HIM NAMES, YOU ARE HURTING HIM. HE BEGAN CALLING HIM MR. WONDERFUL INSTEAD. WATCHING HIS SON STILL SUCKING HIS FINGER , INSTEAD OF CALLING HIM BAD NAMES CALLED HIM MR. WONDERFUL. THE BOY QUICKLY OUT GREW THE THUMBSUCKING.

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