Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Problem With Comparisons


"When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise." 2 Corinthians 10:12

Anymore, I try not to make comparisons.

Why? Because the older I get, the more wary and leary I become of nearly all comparisons, because too many of them can make people sad, even when that's not what I wanted one bit.

Did you watch American Idol last night? Simon made a comparison comment about Kelly and last year's winner, Carrie, which, I believe was hurtful. (Simon said something hurtful? Nah...he'd never do that!) To compare their voices is one thing, but what it sounded like, (I could be wrong), was more a comparison of their personalities, Kelly's being better than Carrie's.

Argh... Tom and I groaned and lectured Simon through our tv screen. Yet again.

Comparing people to one another is like comparing the proverbial apples and oranges. People just plain are not alike, nor were they ever meant to be. God had some amazing, countless reasons for creating each of us uniquely, and yes, like the above verse says, we show our lack of wisdom when we compare one person to another or when we compare ourselves to anyone else.

Hopefully you will not read in my blog something like, "Spring is a wonderful season, but there's not one good thing about Winter." Why not? Because each season has a different, necessary purpose and there is something vital and beautiful about each one.

Or another silly comparison would be to say the tv show, C.S.I., is a much better show than Ty Pennington's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. They are two totally separate beings, each one having its own highlights and special qualities and appeal.

And the same can be said for people. God, on purpose, gave each of us separate, custom-made combinations of gifts and callings and talents and appearances and dreams and desires. (We constantly hear that, but do we believe it?)

Oh, I still tend to compare houses sometimes... drive by and label some as lovely and some as awful. But even there, I remind myself that the houses I speed past and declare "boring or ugly," well, each one belongs to a family of real people and who am I to fling out such disparaging labels like frisbees? Besides, perhaps the house's insides are gorgeous... my quick judgment of the outside of things could blindfold my eyes to such a possibility.

And again, the same thing goes for the way I perceive people.

Yes, we can have opinions, but I'm finding, a lot, that my opinions, in the grand scheme of Things and Life, are basically, downright close to meaningless. And if my opinions are unjustly hurting people's feelings then I'm falling short of what you'll read in 1 Corinthians 13. Real love, God's love, doesn't storm around wielding opinions like sharpened knives.

More than ever in 2006 it's popular to stand up for your right to have and express opinions, and to a point, that's fine. But to go overboard and wildly swing those opinions around like they are Truth and not even care who they cut and slice, well, that is something different altogether.

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