I am a jogger. It’s true. Although I am not really sure that what I do can properly be termed “jogging.” I often refer to it as “slogging.” That’s a combination of the terms “slow” and “jogging.” One winter, my wife and I began “slogging” indoors at an ice hockey arena in order to escape the cold weather. There were several others from the community who had the same idea. Most of them were “seniors” (I refer to them with great respect, because I am dangerously close to being “senior” myself). Now, even though what I do is slogging, it was still somewhat faster than what most of the seniors did (they were smart enough to walk). But a couple of these new friends began to refer to me as “The Flash.” (I have to admit, I sort of liked the nickname.) They accused me of speeding even though that was not possible. My pace was merely somewhat quicker than a person walking. However, I was able to enjoy the illusion of speed compared to the walkers. Occasionally some of the high school runners would show up and give me a lesson in humility. As they would effortlessly blaze past me, I felt as though I was running in quicksand.
Then I got to thinking about that illusion. I remembered what Paul told the Corinthian Christians: “For we are not bold to number or compare ourselves with certain of them that commend themselves: but they themselves, measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves with themselves, are without understanding.” (2 Corinthians 2:2) So much depends on our point of view, doesn’t it? If I have it in mind to see myself in a good light spiritually, I can certainly do so. All I have to do is find someone who has a few more obvious problems than I do. Maybe he is a new Christian or one who has had a lot of disadvantages. But what good have I done when I compare myself with a weaker Christian? None, whatsoever! I am only creating an illusion for my own enjoyment…a way of looking at things that allows me to become satisfied with where I am. Paul goes on in 2 Corinthians 10 to tell us that we should not glory in ourselves, but in the Lord. He also explains that it is not self-commendation that counts, but the commendation of the Lord (verses 17-18). Do you want an accurate look at where you are spiritually? Then focus on Jesus, not on others. Focusing on others will either falsely inflate you or needlessly discourage you. Focusing on Jesus will inspire you to do better and comfort you when you fail. Take it from “The Flash!” Get the real picture. Look ever to Jesus!