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The Rev. William Klock: “Comparing Ourselves to Others” (Zechariah 7-8)

January 30, 2011

From Fr. Bill Klock of Living Word REC in British Columbia, here is a sermon on the Old Testament Lesson for the Second Sunday after Epiphany that I have titled Comparing Ourselves to Others.  Fr. Bill looks at Zechariah 7-8 and gets right to the point in his first paragraph:

Comparing ourselves to others is something we all do.  It’s something we have to do to some extent just to know if we’re doing what we’re supposed to or accomplishing our goals.  But as much as it’s essential some times, we also have to be careful.  There are some times that we compare ourselves to others with the wrong motive and we really get ourselves into trouble when play the “spiritual comparison” game.  How often do you think things like: “I go to church every Sunday.  I’m a lot better than my neighbour who isn’t even a Christian,” or maybe you start comparing your “good works” with those of your brothers and sisters.  That’s dangerous territory to get into.  When we start making those sorts of comparisons, what’s at the heart of it first is pride, but secondly we’re forgetting that God doesn’t love us or save us because of our works—not one of us can be good enough to earn God’s favour.  Our works are an outgrowth of our faith and we only have our faith by the grace of God—aside from his grace we would stand condemned before him just like anyone else.

This is certainly true because when we compare ourselves to others we generally are applying our own standards rather than the standards of Almighty God.  Only Christ could satisfy those higher standards, and He has done this on our behalf.  May we come to Him and be transformed and renewed.  (Romans 12:1-2)

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