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Bread and Butter

August 21, 2016

Bread and butter, Author stu_spivack, Source (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

It is all too human to compare ourselves with others.  She has better hair.  He has a better car.

Even Christians do this…whether they should or not [1].  Oftentimes, the comparison is in spiritual terms.  He is always speaking up at bible study.  She has headed the Christian women’s group for years.

Calculating Spirituality

This, of course, is foolishness.  We may be able to count our blessings.  But we cannot calculate our spirituality.

We cannot grade our relationship with Christ any more than assign a numeric value to our other relationships.  There simply is no formula.  How often should a good husband take out the garbage?  How tall is a good wife?

Paul said, on this subject:

For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves.  But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Cor. 10: 12).

Visions, Dreams, and Speaking in Tongues

Still, we fall into the trap.  Bread and butter Christianity is not enough.  Love of God and neighbor is not enough.  We should see apocalyptic visions, have prophetic dreams.  We should speak in tongues, heal by the laying on of hands, and hear God’s voice audibly.

If we do not have these gifts, we must be failed Christians.  So we presume.

Thankfully, God does not see things that way.  We do not get points for having dreams or visions, and do not lose our Salvation, if they forever pass us by.  Nor do we lose our standing as children of God, if we do not speak in tongues, heal with a touch, or hear God as some others may.

That much should be clear.

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all” (1 Cor. 12: 4-6).

However ordinary our lives may seem to us, we have been washed in the blood and born again.  That is the essential fact about us.

The Bread of Life

Christ described Himself as the “bread of life” (John 6: 35).  We can turn to Him whether we are grief stricken or alight with joy.  If He is our nourishment – if we keep our eyes on Him, and follow where He leads – we need have no fear of failure or anything else.

[1]  We are warned by Scripture against judging on the basis of appearances (John 7: 24).


  1. Well, isn’t that pretty awesome? We were almost exactly in the same frame of mind. That’s not very bread and butter at all!

    I obviously agree with what you say here, Anna, as I am writing about exactly the same thing. In fact, why don’t you come by later, and leave a link to this in a comment on the blog you already commented on? I think folks would like to read this.

    Yeah, it’s a bad deal when we start teaching people that, because they don’t posses some miraculous spiritual gift, that they must be substandard Christians.

  2. Thank you Anna for bringing light to this. I actually, and this is true, had a pastor recently list all the things he does and said to me, “If you aren’t doing this you are useless to the kingdom.” Had I not been as grounded in the Lord as I am I would have walked away from the church and God. We CANNOT compare our gifts and talents to others! It is a defeating task. God loves and uses each and every Christian just as we are and where we are in our journey with Him.

    • Bravo, Sue! You’re clearly better grounded in Scripture than that pastor. We can only pray that he will not mislead others.

  3. What a great post! Thank you Anna for this. I wish more Christians wrote this way!

  4. Beautifully written article, Anna! ⭐

    Indeed, I’d get worried if I all of a sudden had apocalyptic visions or prophetic dreams referring to other people than me and my own little world. And thanks be to God that I cannot speak in tongues! Those believers whom I heard doing so had not received the Spirit of God as I later found out. In fact, it was a horrible mix of Pentecostal/charismatic spirits.

    Love ❤

    • Thank you so much, Susanne. That means a great deal to me, coming from someone as devout as you. ❤

      • You are most welcome, dear Anna. ❤

        To be honest, I do not see myself as devout. Rather, I often complain before the Lord about my utter depravity and my hopeless inclination to rather plan my life as I see fit than to continually listen to Him. But more and more it seems to me that it is only HIS power that I need in my countless weaknesses.

        Much love to you ❤ ❤ ❤

      • Then we are truly sisters “separated at birth” (LOL)!

        Much love,

        A. ❤ ❤ ❤

  5. Great Post.. I have to admit I am guilty of this.. wishing I could be something I am not.. it leads to poor self esteem.. and then you loose focus on the unique quality’s that God did gift each of us with.. Paul said we are all parts of one body in Christ Jesus.. and we all need to work within our own gifts.. Thank you for posting this spiritual reminder 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Mary Ann. We all make these comparisons. Unfortunately, the discouragement that can follow often keeps us from being the people God would like us to be.

  6. I really like this post, Anna–the phrase, “we cannot calculate our spirituality” especially sings to me 🙂 God bless you.

  7. Very thoughtful post, Anna. We must not compare ourselves with others. However, we can measure our own growth. Scripture says that “God is love” and that He desires His love to pass through us unhindered by our pride.

    When God’s love does pass through us, it is manifested as humility, forgiveness, mercifulness, longsuffering, and a servant’s spirit. We can ask ourselves whether or not we have improved (grown) in these areas over that past 5 or 10 years. If not, why not? We can have 10 year’s experience as a believer (or in any other area) or we can have one year’s experience 10 times. Far too many believers have the same one year’s experience over and over sort of like the old movie “Groundhog Day.”

    Maturity is measured as growth in those five areas. But real growth is known only to you and God.

  8. Oh yes, I think I know where you are coming from. I remember telling someone, that my prayers must be working because my life was really boring. I was half joking of course, because my life isn’t boring in the common definition, but no drama. Full of Christ love and peace.
    Thank you

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