But they, measuring themselves by themselves,
and comparing themselves among themselves,
are not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12).
If there is any one criterion that distinguishes us as either wise or foolish, it’s the measuring stick by which judge ourselves. When we want to excuse our own words or actions, we can always find someone else to use as a comparison: “I may do this, but so-and-so does that, which is so much worse!” And that may very well be true. But what do the Scriptures have to say about offering such excuses for our own behavior?
Second Corinthians declares that those who measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves among themselves “are not wise.” God’s wisdom is quite different—and superior—to man’s wisdom. Romans 1:22 says, “Professing to be wise, they became fools.” Though God’s Word clearly states that wisdom is not found in comparing ourselves to other flawed human beings, we often do that, don’t we? In the process, we become fools. And what is a fool, according to Psalm 14:1, but someone who says in his heart, “There is no God; [I will set my own standards].”
God’s criterion for distinguishing between the wise and foolish is how we compare ourselves and judge our own behavior. If our measuring stick is other people, we will always find someone who, in our eyes at least, is worse than we are. But if we adopt God’s standards, the only One against whom we can judge ourselves is Jesus—and He is perfect.
That’s the bottom line, isn’t it? There really are only two ways to get to heaven (yes, I said TWO!): We can be perfect from the moment we’re born until the moment we breathe our last on earth (I don’t see anyone standing in that line, do you?), or we can repent of our pride and failures as we see them so clearly in our comparison to Christ, and then allow the perfection and righteousness of God’s Son to seal us to the Father’s heart and assure our place with Him for eternity.
When I step from this earth into the presence of a holy and righteous and perfect God, I want to do so not as a fool who lived my life according to the standards of others, but rather as one who is wise and depended solely on the standards of the Savior. There is great peace in that choice, my friends—and great promise for eternity.