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.
2 Corinthians 10:12 ESV
A ruler is a measurement tool. When we want to hang a picture on a wall, we use a ruler to measure where to place it and a level to make sure it’s not crooked. When we are building a house, we use measuring tape to calculate the size of each piece of wood. When we draw, a ruler helps insure each line is of equal length. If we don’t use a ruler, we cannot guarantee accuracy. The picture may not be centered. The lumber may not be of equal length. And the lines may not match up.
A standard is necessary to make things right.
Yet a standard is only helpful if it is the correct one. You wouldn’t weigh yourself with a ruler. You wouldn’t measure length with a scale. And you wouldn’t use a compass to measure distance.
Well, in the same way, we should not use people to measure our success. When we measure ourselves using people, we will never get it right. We will always fall short in some way. Someone will always be prettier. Someone will always be stronger. Someone will always be better.
God must be our standard. God must be our measuring stick. No, we will never measure up to perfection, but we can measure up to His calling, for God has called each of us to something specific and something unique. No two of us have the same calling. Sure some callings may appear similar at first, but they are not. No two pastors are created to pastor in the same way. No two writers are called to write the same way. I am a writer (if you couldn’t tell by now), and I have friends who are writers. Although writing is what we have in common, God’s purpose for each of us is different. I’m not to measure my writing using the writings of those I know. I would fail, I would falter, and I would never measure up. I’m to gauge my writing on what God has called me to write–trusting that the One who called me will also equip me how He sees fit.
Read with me Paul’s encouragement from Romans 12:3-6:
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.
Paul doesn’t tell us to use our gifts according to what others do. He says to use our gifts according to the grace God has given to us. You’ll find a similar exhortation in 1 Corinthians 12:9: If all were a single member, where would the body be?
I have two children. My love for them cannot be measured, for I love each one the same, yet I also love each one differently. Each of them is unique and special in their own way. I wouldn’t want my son to try to measure up according to my daughter’s personality, and I wouldn’t want my daughter to try to measure up according to my son’s personality. Each of them is special because each is unique.
As God’s child, you are unique as well. God has created you to be you for such a time as this. Don’t spend time today or any day looking at those around you and telling yourself you’ll never be enough. You will never be enough if you measure yourself using man.
You are enough; because God made you enough. No one can take you away from you unless you let them, so hold on to your identity today. Be proud of who you are. Embrace who you are. For who you are is who God designed you to be. And God never makes mistakes.