Comparisons That Affect Our Perceptions


Then Job answered the Lord and said:

"Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth.
I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
twice, but I will proceed no further.” — Job 40:3-5

Notice here the change in the posture of Job. Previously he bloviated to his friends about his innocence, righteousness, and need for a hearing from God. With every rebuttal, his speeches became longer and longer. But now, after God challenges his perception, his bloviating ends. Job acknowledges he no longer needs a hearing from God. And now, when he does speak, he mumbles a reply from behind the hand that covers his mouth.

This is the danger of human comparison. We end up basing our worth or righteousness on social measurement. Thus we feel better when we do better than others. And we do this because social comparison positively affects our esteem. But what slowly happens is we establish our identity in these social comparisons. As a result, we perceive too much of ourselves. Self-esteem is not God's way to be esteemed; it's only the path to narcissism. So God reminds us through the interrogation of Job that we need to always give attention to the comparisons that affect our perceptions. We are reminded the only place to perceive our identity is in God.

Today consider that area in your life where you have made a comparison. Cast that thought aside, and get your perceptions right. Be esteemed by God and not your own efforts.

ASK THIS: With whom or where have you made too many comparisons? (Confess them in the comments below)

DO THIS: Get your perceptions in order.

PRAY THIS: God, reveal my comparison and get my perceptions in order.

PLAY THIS: Different.


short | practical | biblical
Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

12 thoughts on “Comparisons That Affect Our Perceptions

  1. Jeff Falley says:

    I make the mistake of comparing myself to other Christians and then begin thinking am I truly a Christian and then the self doubt starts to creep in.

  2. Cory B says:

    You name it, I’ve compared it. I’ve always craved to be in the “good” part of the bell curve. I’ve had a very blessed life and for far too long I have taken all the credit. Now that I am finally starting to figure it out and give the credit to Him, I don’t judge or compare very much anymore. Sadly it will creep up on me from time to time and I feel the shame of even having it enter my head. I do my best to acknowledge it and give everyone grace. Mostly the person who needs it most, me.

  3. Eddie Ackerman says:

    I have compared myself with family members that are struggling in different areas of their lives, mostly their physical addictions, instead of feeling compassion for them and PRAYERFULLY asking for how to help them. God, forgive me for comparing myself to people who are hurting just to make myself feel better. Please help me in the future to look to You, talk to You, and get some guidance so that Your love and wisdom are reflected in my reactions, words, and choices. Amen.

  4. Dennis James says:

    We must decrease so that HE may increase. Lord, help me stay humble and keep my focus on you and the mission.

  5. Sam says:

    Many times I have compared my perception of how far I fall short to those around me. But I am sure because I view my comparative shortcomings, I have also lifted myself in mine own eye to those I perceived to fall shorter. This is very sad especially since I do not posses the means of measuring either.

  6. Bob Olsen says:

    Jeanine wins almost every game she plays with me (golf, croquet, board games, etc). I get frustrated sometimes because I would like to win too.

  7. Rich Thomas says:

    I constantly compare myself with everything around me. I need to remind myself of where my help comes from, lift my eyes to the hills!

  8. Jack Dellinger says:

    The world system is set up to reward behavior that produces measurable results. Clean your room and I have a surprise for you. In school there are academic achievement awards. In sports all stars and MVP’s. In the workplace choice assignments, promotions, raises and bonuses. So I compare, I compete and I pretend. The world says I am succeeding but I hardly know who I am because enough is never enough. Sounds just like the elder brother in the story of the prodigal son. The younger son refused to operate in the world system. He took his part and blew it. When he finally realized he had nothing he was humbled and returned to his father empty handed and void of identity. His father then bestowed the family name on him (again?). He finally realizes who he is not by what he has done, but because of who his father is.
    I wasted a lot of years doing good works trying to build identity. When I finally paused long enough to ask God who I was….He told me I was His son. Gamechanger!

    • Cory B says:

      Thanks Jack! I always appreciate your wisdom. I can even hear that southern drawl as I read your words.

  9. Steve George says:

    I have been emptied of social and self esteem. Everything I have down to my very life has been given me through the Grace of God. Thank you for this devotional to remind me of that fact.

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