Let’s read a little bit more from today’s Bible verse. ‘If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else’ (Galatians 6:3-4 NIV). It’s plainly explained there that comparisons to others are never helpful. The original Greek word that Paul used for ‘someone else’ is ‘heteros’, which on its most basic level means ‘something completely different’. That reminds us what we’re doing when we compare ourselves to those around us. We’re trying to measure ourselves against someone who’s completely different to us, who has a different purpose and a different design to ourselves. Whichever way that goes, it can’t end in anything good. We either end up feeling superior, or inferior and, either way, that results in a distorted view of ourselves. We either think that we’re much better, or much worse, than we actually are, and allowing ourselves to be deceived like that gets in the way of examining our own thoughts and actions in a constructive way. That’s why Paul is talking about testing our own actions in the same breath as not comparing ourselves to others. If our eyes are always fixed on those around us, we’ll never have a chance to turn that gaze inward and take stock of where we’re really at ourselves. The best thing to do, then, is to commit to focusing on our own journey. We are becoming more like Jesus at our own pace, in our own way, and with our own plan tailor-made by Him. Our time is best spent finding out more about that, by focusing on our own relationship with Him.
Every time you notice something positive about someone today, tell them. Then, mentally find something positive about yourself and acknowledge it in your mind. Your self-compliment has to be about a completely different thing to the one you just gave out loud though – no comparisons, only encouragements!