I’ve been reading “In Search of God Knows What” lately, and Donald Miller is discussing our cultures foundation on comparison. So much of what we do socially is based on trying to impress others, to compare to others, to one up others. We need to prove ourselves, that we are worthwhile because we are better. But of course, in order to be better, someone else has to be less. And the rub comes in.
Of course, Adam and Eve come directly into this discussion, due to this being the nature of the fall. When they were unconcerned with who held what position, when it was everyone equally under God, then it was Paradise. As soon as the ascension was tried, the fall came. I noticed in the story recently that when it all unravels in small pieces, God confronts the three characters in the story; Adam, Eve, and the serpent. Adam blames Eve and God, Eve blames the serpent, but when the serpent is called out, there is no defense offered from him. Why doesn’t Satan try to pass the buck? Is it simply that He knows God better than we do? Or is it that he doesn’t care about God’s opinion, and doesn’t fear Him? I’m not sure, but it’s an interesting part of the story.
So anyway, this Fall of Comparison, if you will, is so crucial in my own self worth. I am always evaluating myself verses others. It never makes me happy or peaceful. I just feel distanced and guilty. So, I’m beginning to really wrestle with fighting off the comparisons. It’s like fighting off exhaling. It’s such a core part of who I am, my fears, my hopes, my plans. “I want to achieve ….” whatever. Because then I’ll be better. But I won’t. I’ll still be me.
And I realize it’s not just a matter of flip flopping and being worse than everyone. That leads to a false humility that covers pride. It’s the old “I’m the most humble guy in the room. Sweet!” thought. Equally ridiculous.
No, I am striving for God is great, and we are all His creation. 100% His creation. That is our identity, our value, our hope. It’s just so nebulous, it scares me. Much harder to grasp and hold. But maybe that’s the idea.