“For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all of our righteous deeds are like filthy garments…”
Since my wife, Susan is a school teacher, I get hit hard in the summer with her “honey do list”. We had the typical gardening and canning, this year then she added cleaning out some teacher supplies that she had stored at home and everyone’s favorite, painting. It had been about 12-14 years since the front porch railings and ceiling had last been painted. So we waited until a cool morning with low humidity, which is hard to find this time of the year in North Carolina, and started to work. We had a gallon of paint, brushes and a roller all out and ready to go. However, I didn’t think the existing paint looked that bad. You could still tell that it was white, isn’t that the goal anyway? It isn’t like it was peeling off; it was just a wee bit dingy, not bad at all. My eyes were opened when the new white painted started to cover the old paint. There was a world of difference in the color and the brightness between the old paint and the new. I had gotten used to seeing the old paint. When I compared it to other homes, it fit right in. I didn’t see anything wrong with the current paint that was now a teenager. It wasn’t until I compared it to the new paint that I saw how dingy the old paint actually was.
Paint is a lot like the sin in our lives. Sadly, we get used to it. We see it day in and day out and it doesn’t bother us anymore. We compare our lives to the lives of others and we find ways to justify leaving the sin there in our hearts. We say to ourselves, “Well at least I haven’t killed anyone”, “at least I am not as bad as my neighbor, man you should see the mess that his life is in.” or “I am a saint compared to her.” When we try to compare ourselves to others, we do so to make us feel better about the sin in our lives. We cannot compare our lives or our sin to other peoples, but there is Someone that we are to compare our lives to, that is Jesus. When we realize His holiness, even our best deeds come up looking dingy. When we meditate and study on His Word, we see that He was sinless. He faced temptation and never gave in. He walked the same earth that we do, but He never did anything wrong. When we compare ourselves to Jesus, then even on our best day, we are still filthy and stained by sin. That is why we need Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, so that He can make us pure. David knew that he came up short daily. In Psalm 51:7”… wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” David wanted God to forgive him of his sins and make his soul white as snow.
Don’t go around comparing yourself to others trying to make yourself feel better about your life. Even in our best efforts of living a holy life we come up short. Compare yourself to Christ and realize that we need a Savior.