Psalm 119:104, NIV
“I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.”
As I approached to the local supermarket I spotted a great parking space- one very near the entrance! As I pulled up it become apparent that the two cars closest to my chosen space were parked somewhat haphazardly. One was at an angle, whereas the other one’s rear end was parked outside the official lines. Not deterred by this I continued parking my car in the spot I had chosen. Using the other two vehicles as my guide I parked my car and was quite happy with the result (don’t we all know men take great pride in their parking abilities?). Yet when I got out I realised that, relative to the white lines on the tarmac, my parking had been less than impressive. I was over the line and outside of the box. Oops! The obvious mistake was that, instead of referencing the official, immovable lines, I used the (very casual) efforts of others motorists to gauge my position.
The same mistake is easily made in our spiritual lives. We can slip into comparing our Christian walk with that of those around us. We can be deceived into thinking we are doing quite well, whereas in reality we are not! No matter how badly we’re performing in any area, there’ll almost always be a close neighbour who’s doing worse. Compared to them, we’re OK! The problem is that God judges our lives by His standards and these standards are absolute, immovable and just.
There’ll be a day when we stand before the throne of Almighty God. That day we’ll be judged, not according to how we did relative to those around us, but in relation to the unchanging word of God. As modern believers, we can be so grateful to the Lord for giving us His written Word! He’s very clear about what He expects of us. He’s openly declared His will to us. We can know Him personally, and we can know His will – it’s all written down for our benefit!
When we read the Bible we have the chance to compare our personal lives and beliefs with those expressed in Scripture. Each time we read God’s Word and we realise we’re out of line, we’re provided with the opportunity to adjust our lives and become yet more pleasing to Him. God’s Spirit shows us the truth, convicts us of sin and He helps us change. What a wonderful blessing it is to own a bible and to have God’s Holy Spirit!
Prayer: Dear Lord, please forgive me for comparing my own righteousness to that of others. Please help me to keep my eye on You alone and to let Your Spirit bring adjustments to my life when I read Your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.