Philippians 2:12-13 – “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” NKJV
2 Corinthians 10:12-18 – “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. 13 We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us — a sphere which especially includes you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ; 15 not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere, 16 to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment.
17 But “he who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” 18 For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.” NKJV
It is intrinsic in the fallen nature of man to COMPARE. We compare our positions, possessions and even our person to others both to see where we measure up and to justify ourselves. I grew up hearing, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” Sadly, it may be greener or appear greener but the state of the grass in your neighbor’s yard or life is not your responsibility.
Tom T. Hall wrote a song titled, “Me and Jesus” and while I do not wholly ascribe to the message of the song I am drawn to the thought presented by Paul in Philippians that we are to ‘work out our own salvation’ by following Christ and focusing on Him not by ‘comparing ourselves with others.’ Salvation is, always has been and always will be personal. You can grow up in a devout family, go to church every time the doors are open, never allow profanity to escape your lips and outwardly do all the right things but that will not buy you a ticket to heaven. You can compare yourself with others and have your list of comparison and the plusses on your list far exceed the minuses and that will not justify you. You can look at others and see their flaws and declare as the publican, “Thank God I’m not like them…” and you will not find acceptance on the basis of your commission or omissions in life.
There is only one door to heaven and that is through the Cross and the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the door and no entrance to God is found but Him. Therefore, if we would spend more time working on our own yard we would be far less concerned with the greenness of our neighbor’s. In that sense it is important that we develop our personal relationship with God and work out our own salvation with fear and trembling and in that sense – Me and Jesus have our own thing going and have it all worked out.
Salvation is by Grace through Faith and NEVER by Works that we have done or by Comparison of ourselves with others. God bless you as you enjoy this day in Him!