There’s a very real tendency of people to compare themselves to those around them. We do it at work, at home, in sports, hobbies, in virtually every facet of life. In the world of archery and bow hunting it is very easy for me to fall into the compare and contrast mentality. What is that guy shooting? How is he shooting? Why is he doing that? What did he hang a tag on this year? Why did he accomplish that with such apparent ease and I’m still struggling along?
I picked my youngest up from volleyball practice tonight and while driving home our conversation was about this very thing. She was telling me about some execution issues she was having and then proceeded to tell me how another girl seemed to just pick it up and excel. I told her, “first and foremost, don’t fall into that trap. Competition is a good thing, it stretches us and drives us to refinement and improvement. However, comparing our self to others is a trap. She is not you and vice versa… never compare yourself to another. You, My Dear, are a one of a kind.” Not everyone is gifted in the same ways and it is a disservice to measure your worth or accomplishment based on another’s. The next thing I told her was, “champions are not born, they are made. They are built through discipline, hard work, sacrifice, obedience, strength and courage.” It’s a process and at times a painful one.
Applying this to my walk, I realize that I fall into this trap there, as well. I often find myself admiring the work of another, be it in ministry, worship, theology, service, missions, etc, then thinking, “wow, that guy is doing amazing things. He has it together. He’s really doing something profound. I’m not doing anything like that.” Then I start feeling like I’m falling way short, not measuring up, which is true. However, not for the reason I’ve allowed myself to believe. I am not him and vice versa. I am not purposed for the same things as he is. I am not gifted in the same ways as he is. My not measuring up has nothing at all to do with whether I am doing the same things as he is, as well as he is. Rather, am I doing the things that God has prepared for me and me for? Is God able to achieve through me what He seeks to achieve?
To recognize that and to be a “champion” of God is a process. First, cast away the desire to compare yourself to others. You are not them and vice versa. Your focus is on God first and foremost. You have to desire to want to know Him, His heart and His purpose for you. It requires desire. A burning passion to pursue a deep, personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. How can you possibly know if you are where He wants you, doing what He wants, if you don’t have an intimate connection to Him?
It requires discipline, training through the power of the Holy Spirit, your ability to follow God’s code of conduct, His rules. Sin and God are 100% incompatible. You simply cannot be able to discern your purpose if you lack the discipline to adhere to His code of conduct.
It requires obedience. You have cultivated the relationship. You desire to know His heart. You are exercising discipline. You have worked yourself into a position where you can discern His voice and understand His desire and purpose for you. Now, you have to obey. When He compels, convicts or burdens you… obey. Through the execution of that obedience you will begin to realize and see your purpose as God sees your purpose. You will no longer be caught in the comparison trap, stumbling down a rabbit trail blazed by another. You will be headed down the purposed road God has mapped out specifically for you! A purpose filled, purposed fulfilled life!
Scripture teaches that the church (big “C”) is a body. A body is made up of a collection of parts, each with a specific identity and function. These parts function as a whole, but if one tries to perform the role of another, the whole mission begins to fall a part. A hand is not a foot, a nose is not an ear, and they will not function as such. To compare them to each other is pointless and completely counter-productive. Stop comparing, pursue a oneness with Jesus, commit to the process, and focus on who God purposed you to be. Have a blessed weekend.
Romans 12:3-5 (NKJV) For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,