My husband would not play chess with me because he said that I pulled down his game. Naturally, I thought I was a terrible chess player until I played with some other folks who were supposed to be pretty good at the game. When I was able to beat them, I realized that I wasn’t such a bad player. It was simply that my husband was a much better chess player than most folks. I had known that he almost never lost a game; but my experience playing with him proved the point.
At times, we don’t know how good or bad we are until we compare ourselves with someone who is much more superior. The Bible warns that we should never measure ourselves with ourselves. We should always compare ourselves with the Lord, who is perfection.
Working with people who have at least one disability, I find that their self-esteem is in continual flux. Most of the time, they are pretty content inside their own skin. However, there are those who are quick to point out the faults of anyone who works with them. The first time I drove a van full of Special Gathering members I was stopped for speeding. I was going 25 in 20 mile per hour township. Of course, I only received a warning; but I was ribbed for years for that big mistake.
I’ve learned from them that constant comparison can be hazardous to the well-being and health of others. In reality, it probably doesn’t benefit anyone to compare and constrast ourselves with anyone other than the Lord. The bonus we receive by having Jesus as our point man is that He is always compassionate with our forbles. In addition, the Lord not only corrects but He forgives without condemnation. Third, the Lord has all knowledge. When I fail and submit our failure to Him, the Lord helps me to learn from my mistakes rather than keep repeating the same mistakes again and again.
I’ve never been able to conquer much in chess. Until he died, my husband proclaimed that he didn’t want to face me across the chess board. Even among our members who are intellectually disabled, I find myself deficient in a battle of wits more times than I care to admit. Yet, when I compare myself to the Lord, I find that He is always superior. Nevertheless, facing Him keeps me humble while building my self-esteem and improving my performance every time.
Sound impossible? I know. But He is God.