Published January 9, 2018

Shelia Shares
"How Do You Compare?"

Let me set the scene for you.

I'm chatting with an acquaintance who asks, "Are you a good cook?"

I think for a moment and reply. "Yes. I think I am a good cook. I know how to cook a variety of foods. I know how to season a dish. I can keep my family fed. Yes. I think I am a good cook."

As my friend walks down the street, she sees a gentleman and asks him the same question. "Are you a good cook?"

He replies, "Yes. I believe I am a good cook."

As they chat further, she asks his name. He replies, "Bobby Flay."

My acquaintance says, "I know Shelia Heil and she is a good cook. You should prepare a meal together sometime."

Now, I am a good cook for basic foods. But, I can't compare to Bobby Flay, who is a renowned chef. He knows the "chef" language. He can cook anything and do it well. He has qualified as an Iron Chef and is unbelievably talented as a cook.

Compared to Bobby Flay, I am not a cook.

Suppose that same acquaintance asks me, "Are you a loving person?"

I pause a moment and say, "Yes. I am a loving person. I care about people. If I see a need, I try to help. I think I am a loving person."

Now, suppose for a moment, that she goes on and sees a man. She stops to ask him if he is loving person. He replies, "Yes. I am a loving person."

When she asks His name, He answers, "Jesus."

Now, I believe I am a loving person. But, compare me to Jesus and you don't see how loving I am. You see how lacking I am. Why? Because Jesus is love. He not only exhibits the signs of love, but truly He is love. No one on earth can compare to Him in the "love" department.

So, why do I compare myself to you in the kitchen area? Perhaps because you don't know as much about cooking as I do. Maybe I have been cooking longer. The comparison makes me feel good.

Why do I compare myself to you in the loving person category? Perhaps because I think I might be more loving than you are.

Why don't I compare myself to Jesus in the loving person category? Perhaps because I know I can't measure up to His high standards. I can't exhibit the love He has in every situation. I am not love.

God doesn't ask us how much more loving we are than our neighbor. Instead He sets a high bar with the example Jesus left us.

How does your love compare to that of Jesus? How do you answer when I ask, "Are you a loving person?" Really, there is no comparison. But it's certainly something to think about.

- Shelia Heil

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