When I was in college, every year before season started, we would have our annual women’s basketball team retreat. Our coaches would take us to a cabin somewhere off campus, and we would do our team bonding, which included, writing our team and individual goals, inspirational talks, and of course, lots of team activities.
I remember one year our team activity was a ropes course. Classic, easy retreat activity, right? Well guess what I did the whole time? I complained. I was negative. I did not want to do a ropes course.
Why? Not because I was afraid of heights, but because I was afraid of not being good enough.
I believe this is a natural feeling for all of us. We don’t like to do something we are not good at. We fear of being exposed.
Deep in our hearts, we question, am I good enough?
Do I measure up?
Do I have what it takes?
Will I be found out?
This could be in any area of life, right?
As kids we wonder if we are good enough to reach our parents expectations.
We wonder if we are a good enough employee, wife, parent.
These are natural questions for us. The danger comes when we look for the answer of our worth and value in the wrong places. We are measuring ourselves against the wrong standards.
Let’s take a look in the Bible at two of Jesus’ closest disciples and friends, Peter and John, who have quite the rivalry. They competed over everything.
“Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved (John). Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, you follow me.” John 21:20-22
This moment, Peter and John were with Jesus again after His resurrection. (If you remember, Peter is the one who denied Jesus three times before Jesus’ death.)
Jesus and Peter have already had an intimate moment together, and Jesus already told Peter, “I still love you, I still have a plan for you, I know you denied me but I will never let you down and reinstate you into ministry.”
So, if you notice in these verses, it was when Peter turned away from Jesus that he started questioning. Isn’t that when we get tripped up, too?
We have moment with Jesus, we hear Him say powerful things over our life and then we start to turn… and we compare ourselves with other people.
The enemy wants us to believe we do not measure up to anybody else. Not married yet. Not pretty enough. Not enough money. It is an unending cycle we all struggle and deal with.
Our job is not to compete with other people, but fulfill the assignment Jesus has given us to the best of our ability. @christensenjess
The Bible says that when we compare, we are “not wise”
“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12
It can be so easy to look for our status, worth and value compared to everybody else. It’s like we walk around with a tape measure, constantly measuring ourselves, which leads to insecurity, resentment, and jealousy.
Here are three ways to not let comparison steal your joy:
- REMEMBER, GOD’S WAYS ARE HIGHER THAN OUR OWN.
Easy to trust Him when things are going well, but what about when we are not doing well? It is easy to start living like our plans are better or we want someone else’s plan. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8
We have a God who loves us and sees us and knows what is best for us. Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Trust Him. His plans and His ways are better than our own.
- STAY FOCUSED.
Why do we spend so much time worrying and wondering about everyone else? God placed us, gifted us, positioned us, set us up for great influence, but comparison only distracts us from what God wants us to do in our life. We miss out because we are watching the rest of the world.
God is going to bless and use many other people, but guess what? God is still on His throne and working on your behalf. He wants to bless and use you, too. Stay focused on the race He has called you too.
If God can use Peter, the highest profile dropout of the faith in his time, to become one of the greatest builders of the church, He can and will use you!
- BE REMINDED OF WHAT HE SAYS TO YOU.
We need to constantly hear His Word. One moment a week with God is simply not enough if we are going to walk in the calling and power God has for us. If we don’t go to Him, we will be hearing too much from other people. Come to Him and hear from Him again. The Word of God is there to hear from Him.
This is what He says to you:
I take great pleasure in you.
I long to have a relationship with you.
I want you to know Me so I can lead and guide you.
I want intimacy with you.
My Grace is enough for you.
Let’s not let comparison paralyze us. It’s time for all of us to step into the significant calling on our life and stop looking around, or we might miss it.