"For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." (2 Corinthians 10:12)
From peer pressure to crowd control
I should say not! But we all do it. It's second nature. It comes so, so easily to look at someone and take some slight inkling of confidence or reason or validation from them. And if you have no idea to what I'm referring, forgive me for being so forward. Congratulations, by the way. You're one of those rare people who have achieved some standing in terms of personhood by neglecting to take anything at all from anyone else, the things that make you, you. Impossible.
"That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the Body of Christ, and members in particular." (1 Corinthians 12:25-27)
From particulars to universals
What's the difference between the two passages? Because it's a world. Of difference, that is. Firstly, we are "members in particular". Paul is speaking to the Corinthians that we are individuals. We carry around a piece of God that He wants to see grow into that which it was intended to become. And there's no other way--with the kernel, I should say--for this to happen than to look at God. We look at God more than we know. God is always looking at us and everything we see came from Him in some way, shape or form. The lines have been drawn by Him and the shapes and contours reflect His glory in some way or another. "Unto the pure all things are pure" says Paul to Titus (1:15). Broad proof-text, I know, but I believe it fits. But growing from that, to this, takes the attention of God. And now, because of what Jesus has done, we can do things that both warrant, and also welcome, God's attention.
"For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; His countenance doth behold the upright." (Psalm 1:17)
From here to there then
You gotta know that God sees everything going on. Does He approve or sanction or sponsor everything? Absolutely not. But you. Is God simply seeing you, or is He actively looking at you? What do you think? Throw love in the mix, can't forget it. Because the answer is that He is looking at you with love--all the time. But for us to know this, to walk in this knowledge as if it's--not just second nature, but first? It necessarily requires a realignment in our way of thinking about our image altogether. Dial down the noise in your head and heart and train your inner focus on God. Because going forward, I can guarantee you, citing the top passage, that the people to which Paul was referring really aren't comporting themselves as honestly as they ought.
And this is why it's "not wise" to "compare ourselves with some that commend themselves."
The real litmus test to societal and peer-based interaction is selflessness. This is how the Body of Christ is supposed to function. How can you be in a place that has so many believers and yet all feel alone and isolated from one another? And I'm not talking about a church building, that goes without saying. If, statistically, one-in-three persons the world over is a Christian, how come we don't see a greater representation of the aforementioned "Body of Christ"? It's selfishness. It's a widespread and possibly (most-likely) fear-based thought process that says "if I don't take what I need to become who I want, It's not gonna happen", when God sits by and says:
"Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against Him shall be ashamed. In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory." (Isaiah 45:22-25, emphasis mine)