"Yea, will ye persist in supposing that ye are better one than another; yea, will ye persist in the persecution of your brethren, who humble themselves and do walk after the holy order of God, wherewith they have been brought into this church, having been sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and they do bring forth works which are meet for repentance—"
This morning what struck me in this verse was "supposing that ye are better one than another." I think that is pretty rampant... and perhaps really hard to not do. I know that I have a tendency to think that I am cooler or smarter or more amazing than other people for a variety of reasons. Maybe I am older than they are, so I assume that I know more of the world, and they are just too young to understand. Or I am younger, and they are just too far past my age to understand what I am feeling. Or maybe they are poor, and obviously my success is due to my better-ness. :) Maybe they are rich, and if *I* had money then *I* would do such-and-such, rather than just wallowing in it. Maybe I have a title, and that makes me better than someone who hasn't earned it the way I have. Maybe they have a title in an area I don't... which only shows that they have corrupted themselves in order to reach that level, which I would never do... and maybe they are righteous, which just means that they are pretending... or sinful, which obviously means that I am better, and farther into the light. :)
The point of all of this is that it is false. We don't need a "valid" reason to claim better-ness, because no matter what someone else is like, we can find something to criticize. Every time we compare ourselves and think that we are better, maybe we are trying to boost our self-esteem, but the plain truth is that we *aren't* better. God says, right here, that we aren't... and that he wants us to stop believing it. How to stop is another question. I think the way I am going to try is to stop comparing. It is hard sometimes when you feel intimidated... you almost feel a need to compare, so that you can go back to being better. :) "Well, she might be a perfect, gorgeous, and brilliant zillionaire... but at least *I* don't listen to elevator music!" :) Perhaps if I stop comparing, maybe I'll learn some other ways to boost my confidence. :) And unlearning that comparison trick will definitely be worth it... it is really hard to make friends of your competitors, especially when they are EVERYWHERE. :)