Devotions By Jan

People Watching

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Scripture for Today: II Corinthians 10:12 “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves.  When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.”

One of the best things about living in Europe is enjoying all the outdoor cafes.  And one of the best things about sitting outside is people watching!  Ordering and eating is almost secondary to that all-important activity.  It is an art to do it discreetly, but we all do it!  And as long as one does not make eye contact, it is all perfectly acceptable.  Part of the fun is guessing the nationality of a tourist by how they are dressed.  Not only am I noticing fashion but I find myself wondering about the social standing of a passerby.

Our verse for today addresses those who compare themselves to themselves.  Paul is admonishing those who are looking only on the surface of things (verse 7).  He did not fit their ideas of a dynamic speaker or an impressive presence.  In the context of this verse, Paul is teaching that boasting has no place in the life of a believer.  And boasting is what can so easily happen when we compare ourselves to those like ourselves.  Rather than looking for approval by commending oneself, we are to seek God’s approval (verse 18).

Comparing myself to others believers can sometimes lead to complacency and smugness.  Perhaps I am not struggling with some of the same issues as a “weaker brother” in Christ.  But God knows my heart and how much work still needs to be done!  Being well viewed by other believers is never the point.  True wisdom is comparing myself to Jesus Himself and asking the Lord to make me more like Him!

Keep me focused on You, Lord.

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