A huge challenge for humanity on the earth today is the practice of the anti-Kingdom act of competing and comparing. This practice is ingrained in our society and exists as far back as history is recorded. There is evidence of this unhealthy existence when Jesus was on the earth. The scriptures are replete with accounts where Jesus encountered those who were comparing Him with others and stirring up conflict by establishing competition. This is not a practice found in the Kingdom of our God. Competition and comparing is the way of the Kingdoms of this world. The kingdoms of darkness pit humanity against each other based on performance results. In the Kingdom of our God everyone is compared to their individual and unique talent that they receive from our God before they were born, and their results are measured by the amount of their engagement and the maximization of their individual talents alone. There is not comparison to anyone else nor is someone else’s performance results used to establish a par for others to attempt to match.
The Holy Spirit God records in Matthew the twenty second chapter several occasions where the religious leaders of His day were trying to trick and to entrap Jesus. Their questions all involved competing and comparing His teachings and His actions with other sources of existing ministry and the ruling authority of the day. They were trying to create conflict that would get Jesus in trouble with these other sources of ministry and government. He saw through their veiled attempts just as you and I can recognize their tricks through knowing His Word and by the revelation-knowledge we receive from the Holy Spirit God.
Matthew 22:34-40 The Passion Translation
34 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they called a meeting to discuss how to trap Jesus. 35 Then one of them, a religious scholar, posed this question to test him: 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
37 Jesus answered him, “‘Love[a] the Lord your God with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you.’[b] 38 This is the great and supreme commandment. 39 And the second is like it in importance: ‘You must love your friend[c] in the same way you love yourself.’[d] 40 Contained within these commandments to love you will find all the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.”
In His reply Jesus established how we are to live and how we are to experience the reality of Kingdom Living on the earth today. Two fundamental and foundational actions that place all our priorities in their perfect order and in their correct place in our lives.
- Love our God with all that you are and with all that you do - spirit, mind and body.
- Love our Neighbor as much and like we love ourselves.
When we follow these instructions, competing and comparing are eliminated.
The New Living Translation translates this account this way:
Matthew 22:34-40 New Living Translation
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
The question we must ask ourselves today and everyday is “it possible to operate successfully following these two simple directions, and to engage in competing and comparing at the same time?” Competing and comparing involves having a standard for our reference. What is our standard? How did we arrive at our standard? We always want to be our best, but our best compared to what? What is our standard of reference? In the culture or systems of this world, we compare ourselves to each other. Whoever’s performance produces better, or greater results wins. Is that a correct and an accurate finding and understanding?