Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. - Ephesians 5:1 (ESV)
After taking her daughter to the hospital to be checked out because she looked at Harold's spotlessly clean room, Martha was back to normal and Harold was actually keeping his promise to keep his room clean. Everything was going just perfect at the Peterson household or that's what Helen Grey thought until she bumped into Stella.
“Grumble, grumble, grumble.” Stella grumbled as she bumped into her Grandma at the shopping mall. “Whoa.” Helen said, What's all the grumbling about?.” “Harold!” Stella snapped, “I hate him.” “Does this mean he's no longer keeping his promise?” Helen asked. “I wished he wasn't” Stella snapped again.
“I would have thought everyone would be happy to see Harold finally keeping a promise?” Helen said a bit puzzled. “Not this one.” Stella snapped again. “But he's being good.” Helen reminded her. “Yeah,” Stella replied, “And even when he’s being good he causes trouble for me.” “What's he doing this time” Helen had to ask. “Keeping his room clean.” Stella replied, “And I hate it.”
“Excuse me?” Helen said with a stern face, “How is Harold keeping his room clean causing trouble for you? Is he dumping everything in your room?” “He’s not dumping it any where.” Stella responded, “He’s just keeping his room spotlessly clean, and I mean spotless.” “Well, good for Harold.” Helen said “That means everything should be great.”
“Are you crazy!?” Stella shouted when she heard that, “Would you like your mom to see Harold’s room.” “What?” Helen said a bit puzzled, “My mom isn't even living.” “Well, if she was,” Stella snapped back, “And she saw Harold's room she would make you go clean yours.” “Now, I think I'm starting to understand.” Helen said “You're jealous.”
“Mom always used to think my room was clean and I never had to clean it up.” Stella said, “Now that Harold’s room is soooooo clean she thinks my room is a disaster waiting to happen.” “so what's the problem?” Helen injected. “I can’t stand it any more!” Stella continued, “He’s getting all the attention and I have to clean MY room or I won’t get any supper.”
“There's nothing wrong with cleaning your room.” Helen said. “Are you crazy?” Stella snapped back, “Do you now how much work that would be? I wish Harold had never cleaned his room then Mom wouldn’t know what clean was. I wish his room was still a big big mess.” You don't really mean that, do you? Helen asked in shock.
“I meant every word of it.” Stella claimed, “I wish his room was still a disaster. It would be a lot easier than cleaning mine.” When she heard herself say that, Stella got a nasty grin on her face, “I wonder.” she said and than with a sinister laugh she took off on the run.
Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present. Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you.
2 Corinthians 10:11-13(ESV)
Who do you compare yourself to? When I first wrote the puppet play that became this story, my oldest daughter, like Stella had claimed her room was clean – in comparison to her brothers. It wasn't clean. Often times in fun, my wife and I make similar comparisons between “our” sides of the bedroom.
We often compare ourselves to each other but how often do we compare ourselves to God? How often do we make Him our example to model our lives after?
When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. … Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice. Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, "Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations." But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." And Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, "Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them." So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking for a king from him. … But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, "No! But there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles." 1 Samuel 8 (ESV)
Instead of looking to God and His words to them, the people of Israel were looking to the nations around them and comparing themselves to them. Instead of saying those nations needed to reject human leaders and replace them with God, they chose to say we need a human leader and reject God.
Here are some versus that remind us of where are examples to compare ourselves to should come from.
- In John 13:15 Jesus is speaking and He says I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. (ESV)
- In Philippians 2:5 Paul says Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, (ESV) – we are to have the mind of Christ
- In Ephesians 5:1 Paul says Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. (ESV)
There are many more verse that can be looked at and I would encourage you to do so. In the mean time.....
Here's Something To Ponder
- Who do you compare yourself to in attempt to make yourself look good?
- How do you look when you compare yourself to God?