Don't Compare Fingers


QuietWaters Compass Online

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A Digital Help Toward Renewal from QuietWaters Ministries

Volume 9, Number 8 August 2009
MountainCanoe crop 2

We are making good progress toward securing a new retreat home.  We have seen God’s finger prints on everything that has happened so far in this endeavor.

God’s finger prints are on this project because of your prayers.  Thank you for those prayers, and please continue to pray. 



Don’t Compare Fingers       
by Jim Schlottman

All scripture is pointing to Jesus.  Pastors’ roles are to point their fingers toward Jesus.  Yet we spend all our time comparing fingers.

Rev. Marty Martin, the leader of the men’s Bible study I attend, shared that comment at one of our recent studies. 

As I’ve observed pastors over the years, I’ve seen far too many who are so concerned about how their pointing finger compares to other pastors’ pointing fingers, that they forget why their pointing finger is pointing and where it is pointing.

Sometimes the pointing finger comparing is encouraged by our congregations.  They will often comment about a radio or television preacher in a way that implies comparison. And when they make those comments, don’t you find yourself looking figuratively at your pointing finger?

In a line from Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata” he says, “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”

Paul understood what Ehrmann was saying long before Ehrmann said those words.  He addressed this issue of comparison in Second Corinthians when he said, “We’re not, understand, putting ourselves in a league with those who boast that they’re our superiors. We wouldn’t dare do that. But in all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point.” 2 Corinthians 10:12 (TMSG)

Did you catch that there was comparing, grading, and competing going on in Paul’s time?  And you thought something like that would never happen in Bible time, and how could they even question the great Apostle Paul?  Don’t forget what they said about Paul.  “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” 2 Corinthians 10:10 (NIV) How would you like that said about your preaching?

He goes on with this advice.  “If you want to claim credit, claim it for God.  What you say about yourself means nothing in God’s work.  It’s what God says about you that makes the difference.”  2 Corinthians 10:17-18 (TMSG)

If you find that you are spending your time comparing fingers, remember Paul’s words: It’s what God says about you that makes the difference.

We continue to seek new members for our Prayer Team.
If you are interested in joining the Team, please contact Jim Schlottman at [email protected] or call him at 866-5-Waters (866-592-8377).
The QuietWaters Compass Online is published monthly as a free service of QuietWaters Ministries, whose mission is to renew, restore, and strengthen Christian leaders and their families. Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of QuietWaters Ministries, its personnel or trustees. Material contained in this publication is not intended as a substitute for the professional assistance you can receive from a counselor, or health care provider. Requests for permission to reprint articles should be directed to the editor at the address below.
James L. Schlottman
QuietWaters Ministries
(303) 639-9066
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Don’t Compare Fingers
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The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.


Psalm 23:1-3

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