As you fix up a house, there is a temptation to compare what you are doing with others. This can create a problem which we call, “keeping up with the Jones.” Meaning that you do things or buy things that you can’t afford just because someone else does it. Moreover, comparing your marriage to others can create similar problems. Join the Fixer Upper Marriage Class as we learn how to avoid this “keeping up” problem in marriage.
(10) For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. (11) Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present. (12) For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. (13) But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even onto you. (14) For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ;II Corinthians 10: 10-14
1. What you are comparing may not be real.
See verses 10 and 11 above
Their public profile may not match their real one.
- The following are a few facts to consider.
- In late 2017 and 2018 Facebook discovered and suspended 1.3 billion fake accounts, admitting that at least and estimated 66 million remain.
- Estimates are that 9-15 percent of 336 million twitter accounts are fake.
- In December 2017, German intelligence warned that Chinese agents were using LinkedIn account profiles to target government employees.
- The Israeli military discovered that Hamas was using Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp profiles to get soldiers to download malicious software.
- Facts above are from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-people-fall-fake-profiles-online.html
- Social media allows you to shape your own persona.
- You get to control what people see about your life.
- Everyone is looking for that Instagram moment.
- People even choose vacation spots for there potential social media sharing potential. According to TravelAgent.com 36 percent of millennials (age 18-34) have attempted to deceive their followers about vacations by posting pictures that made things look better than what they are. See this stat and more here.
- For example, I was recently made aware of a prayer request, that was completely opposite of what I was seeing on social media.
- Prolonged viewing of social media posts can increase depression.
- According to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health published in 2016, social media use significantly increases depression. View the study here. A simple internet search will reveal more SM connect to depression and anxiety.
- You only see the best that people want you to see. You see everyone’s bright and shining moments only!
- This makes you ask, Where are my bright and shining moments?
- You compare your everyday here and now of marriage, with everyone’s highlights.
- Church personas are not always real.
- We wear our best outfits, and put on our best faces because we want to be seen and accepted in our perceived social group.
- What we don’t see are the struggles and problems we go through during the week.
- For example, I was privileged as a child of knowing my great grandmother, who was the most spiritual person in our Church. She even stopped the ushers on Sunday morning to make sure everyone saw here tithe. However, in reality she was not so spiritual at home.
- To some people see Church is an opportunity to perform better than someone else. It is their chance to prove their value to the people who are important to them. Therefore, they display a different persona that is unrealistic for you to live up to, a persona that they cannot even live up to.
You never know what other people are going through.
- In our text, it seems that people were jealously being critical of Paul. However, when you consider the facts that we know about Paul today, he suffered great persecution for the cause of Christ. See II Corinthians 11: 23-33.
- The truth is in what you are not told, those things that you don’t know about.
- On October 12, 2014, the world was awakened to the shocking news that a man who was known as the funniest man of all time, actor Robin Williams, had taken his own life. See the Winkapedia page here.
- You just don’t know what people are going through. Also, you don’t really know what you are a comparing yourself to.
- It is therefore, not wise, in the words Scripture to compare your marriage to someone else’s.
Hearsay is not always accurate.
- Furthermore, what people say about other people is not always accurate. At best you are only getting half the story.
- Have you ever had something said about you that was not accurate? Maybe you could defend yourself, or maybe you could only just prove yourself.
- When you hear about someone, or their marriage, it may or may not be an accurate description.
- It is not fair to your marriage, to compare it to what people are saying about someone else’s marriage.
- What people think or say about you is not as important as what you do.
2. Everyone is different.
See verse 13 above, But we will not boast of things without our measure.
There are generational differences.
- Historians refers to this as baby boomers (born after WWII), Generation X (with no specific defining event), the Millennial Generation (defined by the turn of the century) , and Generation Z (no defining event yet).
- This can clearly be seen in technology.
- For example my mother can barely use a tablet that one of my sisters bought for here, but my 5 year old can operate my smartphone, and may have used my AMAZON account. She has even learned my pattern lock!
- As this relates to marriage, according to the US Census Bureau, the median age of marriage for men is now 30 and for women 28. See their website here.
- My parents were married at 17 (Dad) and 13 (Mom).
- I was married a 27 almost 15 years ago and thought I was a late bloomer!
- This can be seen in our priorities.
- We finish school, start a career, and get a house first.
- Maybe the priority of marriage has changed.
Everyone has a different path.
- In my 20s I starting teaching Sunday School. My first class was the junior and or high school boys. I have always said and continue to say, that if you wait on God’s best, He will give it to you. However, there have been many times when I have had to eat those words, when I could have settled, when I could have taken things into my own hands, when others got what I wanted. I was the last of my friends to be married, but I got God’s best for my life. BTW God does give his best to those who are willing to wait for it!
- God has a unique path for you and your marriage, and it is unfair to you and God to compare it to others.
- Maybe God wants you to suffer some things, to make you different for His plan for you.
- As a Christian, we know that all things are for purpose, and that purpose is uniquely qualified for you and your spouse. (See Romans 8:28)
- God has given the institution of marriage so that you can work through your problems together.
- As you struggle in a certain area, you work through it together as a couple committed to one another for life!
- It is unwise to compare your marriage and life to someone else who has a totally different plan than you.
God gives principle to live by in marriage.
- These principles in my opinion are sometimes specifically vague.
- God says these are the boundaries for marriage and love.
- Whatever fits inside is OK with Him.
- He knew that everyone would have different circumstances.
- God does not have a cookie cutter mentality.
- Wisdom is found in discovering His principles and applying them personally to your marriage.
3. You have a mission to focus on.
See verse 14, as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ.
The standard for marriage is Christ and the Church.
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.Ephesians 5: 23-25
- There is no one who can reach that goal, but it should be our focus.
- The comparison is the Bible standard of Christ and the Church.
- You have to take your attention off of couples around you and instead look to the example of Scripture.
Marriage is about the Gospel.
- Living an example of the Gospel as a couple everyday.
- An example to a lost and dying world that is watching you.
- An example to your kids who are BTW lost and dying and watching you.
- Giving the resource of the Gospel to the world as a couple.
- What you do everyday to advance the light of the Gospel in a dark world.
- The way we live, the choices that we make everyday advance the Gospel.
- Paul said, I don’t measure my life with any measure, except the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
How and Why You Should Avoid Comparing Your Marriage to Others
- What you are comparing may not be real.
- Everyone is different.
- You have a mission to focus on.
God has something amazing planned for your marriage….