Whenever you employ the superlative or comparative forms of any word, it means you have established a set standard of measure against which the comparison is being done. However, there is a rule to comparison: the standards of measure have to be the same: so you can compare lengths, but not with weights. This is where the Pharisee in today’s Gospel got it wrong.
In his mind, he could compare his living with that of other men. His words in Luke 18:11 revealed his thinking:
"The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican."
He seemed oblivious to the fact that “those other men” were not the gold standard.
That is why it is a big risk to measure your success, exploits, decisions and the like against the standards of men. What might be deemed a success to men, might have no bearing on the definition of success God has set for you. So mind you, men can motivate you, but they are not the standard, neither are they the yardstick, God is.
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