There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

dare to not compare

…promised you a quote from Donald Miller about the comparison trap in an earlier post.  Here’s what I remembered but could not find then.  It’s worth the wait. It’s from his Searching for God Knows What, and this little snippet he composed at his bedside as if he were an alien observing the idiosyncracies of humans.  Except “idiosyncratic” perhaps diminishes how significant and how devastating this part of the human condition really is.

Humans, as a species, are constantly, and in every way, comparing themselves to one another, which, given the brief nature of their existence, seems an oddity and, for that matter, a waste.  Nevertheless, this is the driving influence behind every human’s social development, their emotional health and sense of joy, and, sadly, their greatest tragedies.  It is as though something that helped them function and live well has gone missing, and they are pining for that missing thing in all sorts of odd methods, none of which are working.  The greater tragedy is that very few people understand they have the disease.  This seems strange as well because it is obvious.  To be sure, it is killing them, and yet sustaining their social and economic systems.  They are an entirely beautiful people with a terrible problem.  (p. 92)

Miller’s a is a riff on far more ancient comment by none other than St Augustine: Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.

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