I Samuel 18:6-9
As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. And the women sang to one another as they celebrated,
“Saul has struck down his thousands,
and David his ten thousands.”
And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” And Saul eyed David from that day on.
Why do we feel the need to compare ourselves with others? Well, it’s a pretty natural thing to do. It’s a great way to measure and size ourselves up, isn’t it? But, most of the time this spells T.R.O.U.B.L.E.
As we can see Saul was an insecure man. And he couldn’t stand the fact that someone else was receiving more praise.
The people were singing Saul struck down thousands. THOUSANDS! He could have been happy about that. But, noooo. They were singing David struck down his TEN thousands! So instead of being happy for David, even thankful to David… Saul was threatened by David. Instead of being happy about the victory, he was sulking cause he wasn’t the best. He was good, but somebody was considered better.
But this is something I found to be true: If you think you’re good at something… there’s ALWAYS somebody who can do it better. And if you’re the best, you simply won’t be for long.
Personally, I’ve always loved to dance! I grew up popping and locking throughout the 80’s. And eventually I became the high-school sensation. When the right song came on, everyone made the circle and called me to the center. Oh, yes, I was the man! But then a new kid came to town. And, boy… could this guy dance! OH, could he dance. He had moves I’d never seen before. And the guy could SING! Whew. He was the complete package. So once he hit the floor… I’d lose all my moves. Yes, I forgot how to dance! I lost my rhythm… cause he was striking down his ten thousands! And I was green with envy. I forgot how to dance cause all of my attention was on him.
And I think Saul forgot how to dance, if you know what I mean! He was too concerned about being showed up. He was still King, for crying out loud! He was still anointed! But, it was like he forgot who he was because of a spirit of comparison. What a crippling malady. It’s enough to reduce a king to the mentality of a pauper.
What about us? What would it look like if we just dropped the comparison game? What would it look like if we just let loose and be ourselves – not caring who was considered better or best? Could you imagine how FUN life would be like if we just hit the floor and felt the music?
We have a contribution to make. So I say let’s make it, putting all comparisons aside. Let’s not forget our dance or even go deaf to the song of redemption. Let’s remember who we are, who we serve, and what we do.
Lord, spare us the spirit of comparison. Allow us to be confident in who we are… and happy even when somebody does it better.
For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
2 Corinthians 10:12