“For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror; For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like. “
– James 1:23-24
We spend the majority of our childhood comparing and contrasting one thing to another. It’s a big part of how we learn. We are taught a baseline of information that sets a standard to which we compare all other things. Their differences help us recognize what sets one thing apart from another. But what if our standard is off? What if we were taught that if a chicken doesn’t bark like a dog then it’s an abnormal chicken, or if a donkey doesn’t grow wings by its 3rd birthday then it will never become a unicorn? It may sound ridiculous, but people do it all the time! We look at the world around us and compare ourselves. We look at what they have and what we don’t have. Sometimes that reveals our life as a life of blessing and protection. Other times all we can see is everything that we seem to be missing out on. Deuteronomy 14:22 says, “For you are a holy people [set apart] to the Lord your God; and the Lord has chosen you to be a peculiar people to Himself, above all the nations on the earth.” We are not supposed to be like the rest of the world, so why would we waste our time comparing ourselves to them? We have been set apart and chosen to be a peculiar people. So if comparing and contrasting is how we learn, then what should we be comparing ourselves to? The Word of God should be our baseline, our standard, our mirror. James 1 talks about a man looking into a mirror, studying himself and then walking away and completely forgetting what he looks like. If we study the Word but yet continue to compare ourselves to the world, it’s as if we have forgotten our own identity. Through reading the Word, we learn about and become sure of our identity in Christ. This gives us our standard of living, and walking out in this identity will help guard us from comparing ourselves to the world around us.
Confession for today: “Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me so much that You chose me, set me apart, and made me holy. Forgive me for ever comparing myself to this world and forgetting my identity in You. Thank You that as I read Your Word, I will have a deeper understanding of who I am in Christ and the standard that I should live by. Help me to reflect who You are in my life so that I may draw others to Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Let your light shine,