“We’re not, understand, putting ourselves in a league with those who boast that they’re our superiors. We wouldn’t dare do that. But in all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point” (2 Corinthians 10:12 MSG).
It is said that imitation is the best form of flattery. There is a benefit to being a copycat, as long as you are copying the right cat. It is an honor to a have a model or paradigm to structure your life around and follow as an example. “It pleases me that you continue to remember and honor me by keeping up the traditions of the faith I taught you. All actual authority stems from Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 MSG). The apostle Paul emphatically encouraged the Corinthians to follow him as an example and he followed Christ; and it was a continual following. In other words, Paul was willing to be a perpetual example. “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 KJV).
However, Paul also told the Corinthians not to compare themselves to another person. The word “compare” in the Greek language means in essence, tattooed or wearing somebody else’s identity, status or character. Isn’t it sad we spend a great deal of our time comparing ourselves and situations to other people…our finances, career, education, children’s accomplishments, etc. When we compare ourselves we lose sight of how we were originally created and designed, and we do not give credit to our Creator. “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:14 KJV).
May we be free from the comparison trap of trying to be someone we are not. Let us learn how to focus our energy into being more like God. “GOD formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive–a living soul” (Genesis 2:7 MSG). You are created and designed to be the best you. So if you are going to imitate and copy someone, make sure they are the best. God’s way is perfect (Psalm 18:30), so he would be the best to compare ourselves to.
Lord I am grateful for the examples that I can follow. I am equally thankful for being delivered from comparing myself to others. I am designed and shaped by you, perfectly unique for the path you have chosen for me. Thank you for being my greatest example and for giving me the cleverness to look to you. Amen.
God’s Peace and Good Journey!
Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Bronner, a native Philadelphian, is a trailblazing visionary. He is the Senior Pastor of Elim Christian Fellowship of both Buffalo, and Rochester, New York. Bronner founded the churches on November 7, 1999 and November 17, 2002, respectively. Prior to that, he was the pastor of the prestigious Calvary Baptist Church also of Buffalo, New York.