“I’m better than you!” declared my 8year-old son Bryce as we were driving to school one morning this week.
He was claiming to be a faster runner than my older 10year-old son Connor. I quickly stepped in as a verbal disagreement began to erupt.
I chimed in saying how it all depends on what kind of running you’re doing and how both of them are gifted by God differently.
Connor is actually a very fast runner around the bases when he plays baseball. Bryce can also run fast around the bases too but he is very good at quick changes in direction like a running back in football and has great stamina for long distances.
Regardless of who is faster or better at whatever…bottom line is that both boys have different gifts and strengths that God has given them. And I stressed to the boys the importance of never putting another person down for not having the same gifts and strengths as them.
How quickly comparison can seep into our lives at such a young age! In fact, comparison really begins in our lives way before we may even realize!
From the day we were born…everything about us is measured!
Our birth announcements with our height and weight …our pediatric appointments with growth percentiles…our athletic ability with our game scores and statistics…our academic ability with our grades and report cards…our SAT scores…salaries…job titles…social status…and the list goes on.
Everything is weighed and measured!
It’s no wonder we get caught up with what the world says we need to look like… what the world says we need to have…and what the world says we need to be!
We can so easily be tempted to measure ourselves up against the world’s standards…and even find ourselves living out someone else’s assignment and not the assignment God has for us.
You do know that God has an assignment for your life…right? If you are a Christian today, God has a specific assignment… a specific plan…for your life and it’s not the same as someone else’s.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Now…comparison on the surface may not appear all that dangerous…because comparison is the fuel that can propel us forward… …it can push us to be better… it can motivate us to do greater things.
But…unfortunately…this comparison can trigger negative insecure thoughts…thoughts that we don’t measure up…we aren’t enough…we don’t have enough…or we won’t be accepted or liked.
Do you ever compare who you are…what you have (or don’t have) …what you are doing with your life…or in your life…with someone else’s life?
God has assigned us each an assignment in this life… He has assigned us each our own race to run!
For example, before a race, a sprinter is assigned his own lane. And one thing a track athlete is taught is to always stay in their lane…always stay focused…and always look straight ahead…and never worry about what the person in the lane next to you is doing. Because the second you look…it may cost you the race!
And this very thing actually happened in the 1996 Olympics where a sprinter admitted that he peaked at his opponent next to him and it cost him the medal. That look cost him a hundredth of second!
I love Hebrews 12:1-2! It says…
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT
It says…let us strip off every weight that slows us down
We need to fist identify what weight is slowing us down.
What weight is slowing you down from running the race God has set before you? Is it the weight of comparison? Because the weight of comparison will slow us down…
If we become too consumed with comparing ourselves to others…If we become too consumed with the race other people are running…we will no longer be focused on our race. And it will slow us down.
The moment a sprinter takes his eyes off the finish line and peaks at the sprinter in the lane next to him…It will slow him down. And it just may cost him the race!
This verse goes on to say…especially the sin that so easily trips us up.
Is there a sin in your life that is tripping you up from running the race God has set before you?
If we become too consumed with comparison…it will take root in our life and will lead to sin.
Feelings of inferiority and not measuring up will produce sins like jealousy…envy… bitterness… hatred.
Comparison can also produce feelings of superiority and being better than others. And this leads to sin as well like pride, arrogance, and even self-righteousness.
We can’t afford to allow comparison to take root in our lives! We have a race to run!
It says…let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
And it goes on to say in Hebrews 12:2 that…We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus…
What is distracting YOU from keeping your eyes on Jesus?
God has a plan, an assignment, a race for you to run in your life and it isn’t the same race as your friend…your neighbor…your mentor etc. It’s YOUR journey…It’s YOUR race to finish.
We cannot let the race that others have been assigned slow us down and trip us up…We have our own race to run!
Let me challenge you with this final question … Whose opinion do you feel pressured to live up to?
Your boss’ opinion…your family’s opinion…your friends’ opinion…your Facebook and Instagram followers’ opinions…this world’s opinion?
Whose opinion do you feel pressured to live up to?
Well we can take that pressure off right now! Because…The ONLY opinion that matters is God’s opinion!
And HIS opinion of you? He says to you…
You are Beautiful (Psalm 45:11)
You are Unique (Psalm 139:13)
You are Loved (Jeremiah 31:3)
You are Special (Ephesians 2:10)
You are Cared For (Ephesians 3:17-19)
You are Lovely (Daniel 12:3)
You are Precious (1Corinthians 6:20)
You are Strong (Psalm 68:35)
You are Important (1 Peter2:9)
You are Forgiven (Psalm 103:12)
You are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (Psalm 139:14)
You are Created in MY Image (Genesis 1:27)
You are Created with a Purpose (Jeremiah 29:11)
You are a New Creation (2 Cor 5:17)
You are Protected (Psalm 121:3)
You are Empowered (Phil 4:13)
You are Victorious (Rom 8:37-39)
You are Accepted (Eph 1:3)
You are Cherished (Zech 2:8)
You are Chosen (1Peter 2:9)
You are Valued (1Cor 7:23)
You are Worthy (John 3:16)
You are Enough (Eph 2:4-6)
You are Mine! (Isaiah 43:1)
God says…Stay focused on me…And I will tell you who you are. Don’t compare yourself…OR your life…to anyone else’s!
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. Galatians 6:4-5 Message
If we can focus on becoming who God created us to be…We can experience a sense of peace and security that will enable us to resist focusing on what everyone else around us is doing. And then we can focus on the assignment He wants to complete in us…the race that He wants to run with us…and the plans He wants to fulfill though us to ultimately glorify His name.
- Do you ever compare who you are…what you have (or don’t have) …what you are doing with your life…or in your life…with someone else’s life?
- What weight is slowing you down from running the race God has set before you? Is it the weight of comparison?
- Is there a sin in your life that is tripping you up from running the race God has set before you? What is distracting YOU from keeping your eyes on Jesus?
- Whose opinion do you feel pressured to live up to?
- If you are struggling with comparison, pray and ask the Lord to help you. Pray and ask Him to show you if there is sin in your life stemming from comparison that you need to repent from and ask for forgiveness.
- The antidote for comparison is gratitude. When you are thankful for the way God has created you, you will begin to focus on Him. And when you focus on Him you be filled with peace and security to run the race that He has set out for you to run.
- Fill yourself with God’s Word and what he says about you as His daughter. Then you will know and accept who you are in Christ! Then you will know that God has made you fearfully and wonderfully inside and out (Psalm 139:14) …uniquely created you with unique gifts and a unique purpose for your life! …Not to be compared to anyone else!