2 Corinthians 10:12
Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
In this verse, Paul tells us that we are all individuals. Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses, to compare each other and make judgements about individuals as compared to others or the group, well that’s just vanity. It’s folly, like the old phrase apples to oranges.
I thought it would be interesting to get sidetracked and try to discover the origin of the phrase, “…apples to oranges”.
Quick research tells me it originated some time back in the 1500’s, and it started out as the saying. “…as apples to oysters”. I guess oysters were more well-known back then since oranges didn’t find their way into European culture until the late 15th or early 16th century.
Anyway, there’s a fun little tidbit of information that I used to lengthen this post.
Paul is reminding us, that to compare ourselves to others or others to ourselves is, as apples to oysters. It is a comparison that cannot be made.
God has made each of us a unique, standalone individual, and therefore we cannot judge others to our standards and vice versa. Our standards are for us to judge ourselves against those standards. Our standards must be honestly set with righteousness and honestly measured against righteousness.
We know in our hearts this standard of righteousness, but the problem is we allow others and the world to dictate and change that standard. We change what is intrinsic in order to meet the judgement of others. We sacrifice our righteousness for the world.
So the next time you compare yourself to someone else’s standards, or change your standards to benefit worldly desires, ask yourself am I an apple or an oyster?
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