Have you ever been driving along the interstate and looked over to see traffic backed up for miles and say to yourself “I’m glad we are not going that direction right nowl” Or you may find yourself in one of those situations with stop and go traffic and find yourself asking ‘what’s the hold up?” Either way, when you compare one situation to the other, it doesn’t seem fair. You may do the same thing when a friend gets a new vehicle and a little voice questions, ‘maybe I should get a new truck too?’ It may also happen when you look at someone who, on the surface or via social media seems to have the perfect life, even though you may not know what they are dealing with on a personal level. It doesn’t take much for us to fall into the mode of comparing ourselves to others in any number of ways, but that is usually based on fairly superficial situations. When has comparing yourself to others ended up being a good thing?
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
Are there situations when comparing yourself to others can be a helpful thing? If it forces you to take a hard look at your life and say, ‘I can do better”, or you are motivated to improve what you are doing at work or in other areas of your life, the outcomes may be what you were looking for. If you are working or playing on a team and you are motivated by competition or to be the best at what you do, you may find ways to work better with your teammates to accomplish your goals. But no team has a perfect season year after year, and eventually you may come in second, or 7th or last place some years, and you may ask yourselves ‘why?’ Competition may not be the best motivator, as it is usually self- seeking and you may run over others on your way to the top, so is there a better way?
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
The reason that envy, jealousy, and greed are not the best motivators is that they tend to corrupt the one that they are motivating and the fruit they produce tends to turn rotten. When everything you do is self-seeking, there tend to be multiple casualties along the way, and in the end you usually end up hurting yourself and your relationships as well. When we put others first before our own selfish desires all the time, they don’t only thrive, but we do too. When we are motivated to do good, to put giving before greed, our desire to always one-up others tends to go away. May you find that growing in your life each day as you surrender more and more of your own desires to God.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
Yours in Christ,