Each of us at one time or another has wondered, “Why is it that a person who is not walking as faithfully to the gospel as another appears to be equally blessed?” Even Simon Peter fell into the trap of making comparisons and trying to establish a hierarchy of allegiance to Christ.
Jesus responded sharply to Peter, “What is it to you?” Jesus told Peter to remain focused on Himself and to leave John and others to their own walk.
Parent Child Relationships
Every parent with more than one child knows full well how different each parent-child relationship can be from another. The same is true of the relationship each child of God has with his or her heavenly Father. There is a different dynamic in the way a father or mother relates to their daughter as to their son. A gifted child will be held to a higher measurable standard of performance than one who is less gifted.
We are Christians because of the new creation we became through the work of the Holy Spirit. We are not Christians because we follow a laundry list of rules and laws. Parent-child relationships change and morph over years as the child grows, rebels, questions, and then matures. So it is with our relationship to our Father.
Does it really make a difference to you as a parent when your child says, “But you didn’t make my sister do that!” or “But the preacher’s kid get to do it!” We let the child sputter and dispute to whatever length suits our parenting style and the character of each child. Some parents close the discussion as soon as the syllable “but” is out of their child’s mouth. Other parents will allow their child to enter into a lengthy exchange over an issue.
The End of the Matter
If God tells you, “No”, that is the end of the matter even if your neighbor appears to have been given permission to do the very same thing.
The source of authority and wisdom is the same for every Christian parent-child relationship – the Holy Spirit. He reveals the meaning of Scripture for each as is appropriate. Much in the Bible is open to interpretation. That fact is what creates the differences in relationships.Paul advises us to not get hung up on the disputable points, but to come together on foundational issues.
Certain standards exist for all, but the details will vary widely. If you are prone to wander and challenge limits then you may be given stricter guidelines than a sibling who is naturally more obedient. If you are tempted to over-indulge in alcohol you may be required to not drink at all where another is free to drink socially. The whys do not matter. Comparisons are useless except to divide, confuse, and to disturb the tranquility of the family.
Mind Your Own Business
Stay focused and true to the relationship you have with our Father. Don’t be tempted as Peter was to want everything judged from his perspective. Jesus asked Peter, “What’s it to you?”
When it comes to comparing your walk with that of another, in this Jesus will be consistent – “What’s it to you?”