Don’t Waste Time Comparing And Competing

 

Comparing and competing is a waste of time.

Comparing and competing is drilled and ingrained into us from a young age. Kids often begin sports as early as 4 years of age. They are urged by their parents to play hard and win. Children in school play games on the school playground or compete against classmates in spelling bees. Parents urge their children to study hard and make good grades. After a test in school, kids often compare grades. Some kids test well; others not so well. Good grades give children the distinction of being on the “honor roll.”

Kids become teens and are ushered into the competitive nature of high school. Everything from the school sports and academics to the crowning of a prom queen teaches kids to compete. Along with the message of competition, kids make the mistake of comparing themselves to others. They wonder how they “stack up” compared to their friends. The culture that is created makes the kids use others as the barometer to gauge their own self-worth. If they think one of their classmates is prettier, smarter, more athletically inclined, or more popular, they often become discouraged.

When these young people finish school and are thrown into adulthood, the same culture awaits them. We live in a society that is driven by greed. Today’s culture measures success by a person’s financial portfolio and price tag of their home and cars. This culture causes people to look at others and compare their life and situations with them. The “Keep up with the Jones'” mentality is alive and well in America today. People strive to have better houses, better cars, better lawns, and better everything than their neighbors.

Comparing your life with others and trying to compete with them is stupid. It will derail you from your true passions, purpose, and calling in life. Playing the compare and compete game with those around you will keep you emotionally exhausted. Don’t strive to be better than your neighbor; strive to be better than the person you were yesterday. Don’t compare yourself with others or try to compete with them in any way. If you must compare, compare what you are now to what you want to become. Compete against yourself and strive to become a better version of who you are now.

When I was young, I made the mistake of comparing myself to others. Doing that caused me to stay discouraged and bitter. I didn’t realize God had distinct plans and purposes for my life. Because I thought I was inferior to those around me, I wanted what they had. Eventually, I realized God had a plan for my life, and that he loved me in spite of my failures and shortcomings. Trying to compare yourself to others and compete with them is a major mistake. It causes you to mold yourself into what you think others want you to be instead of what God created you to be.   

The Bible even gives plain advice against comparing yourself to others. In Galatians 6:4, the Bible says, “Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done and won’t need to compare himself with someone else.”  (Living Bible) That is great advice. Comparing yourself to others will do nothing but distract and discourage you. Others may have different gifts and purposes in life than you do. If you compare yourself to them and try to compete with them, you are attempting to be something God never called you to be. You have God-given gifts and purposes of your own. It is up to you to discover your gifts and use them well.

Don’t waste time comparing yourself to others and competing with them. You have your own life to live, your own set of goals, and your own distinct purpose in life. Don’t let jealousy of what others have or are doing distract you from being who God created you to be. Concentrate on your life and how you can become a better person. Focus on how you can help those around you to use their God-given abilities. Life isn’t about comparing and competing. Life is about becoming who God created you to be and involves no one but  you and God. Others can mentor you, encourage you, and help you. But, working to become who God is calling you to be is up to you. Nobody can do it for you. Becoming who God created you to be will enable you to help others do likewise. Yes, Teddy Roosevelt was right. Comparison is the thief of joy.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

Mark

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