Resisting Comparison and Competition
I’ve had the competitive streak for as long as I can remember. Although I’d often say I hated competitions, in my mind I was always in one with the next person- at school, in church, with my friends, my siblings, you name it. I’d walk into a place for the first time and immediately start analyzing everyone to see those that would be my rivals. Truth is, I didn’t exactly want to be the best, just better than everyone else.
Sometimes I think that society has played a large role in fueling this spirit of competition. Where I grew up, we always employed the concept of positions. Meaning, from elementary school all the way to high school, someone came first and someone came last in class.
My parents and their parents grew up being celebrated for being first and castigated for anything else- that’s how they raised me too. The funny thing was that no one cared if you got a perfect grade. It didn’t matter if you got a 40% average in a class, as long as that put you first in class, it was fine. And that’s just one example, I’m sure you have several of yours. We’ve been conditioned to run our races looking sideways at the other runners instead of forward towards the finish line.
Child of God, comparison and competition are the thief of joy and peace! Your worth is not based on your successes or failures or who you are better or worse than. It is not based on another person’s opinion or even yours. The person that made you is the only one that can define you. He says:
“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day I had holy plans for you, a prophet to the nations, that’s what I had in mind for you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
“But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night and day difference he made for you, from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. (1 Peter 2: 9-10 MSG)
Isn’t that all that should matter? He does not see you through the lens of your achievements much less that of those around you. He created you uniquely with your own set of strengths and weaknesses to do things in a way that’s different from any other person, not better or worse, but different.
Are you tired, exhausted, sick of trying to keep up? I definitely am. I’m done feeling inadequate, basing my value on how I compare to the next person, and I’m sure you are too. Ever heard of a problem shared is half solved? Well, one acknowledged is half solved too! We must tell ourselves the truth and be naked with God.
Don’t be afraid to say, “Lord, I have a problem with comparison and unhealthy competition.”
It’s important to identify it and accept that we struggle with it. Then ask for grace to overcome it. Spoiler alert! One of the most efficient ways to overcome a thing, is to face it as many times as it takes you to master it. God will present you with situations everyday where you’re faced with the temptation to compare. And each time, you must make a choice. It’ll be hard at first; it might even seem impossible. You’ll fall a couple of times (I know I have). But you’ll also win too. As you walk with him, you’ll begin to choose contentment more often than you chose to compare. You’ll begin to find peace in your successes and failures, you’ll celebrate the joys of others and mourn with them in their sorrow instead of competing with them. You’ll want to be no one else but who God has made you to be.
It might take a while, but we’ll definitely get there. Keep fighting sister!
“Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other or trying to be something we aren’t.” (Romans 12:6 MSG)
Staff Writer at Christian En Vogue
Ize Anumah is a twenty year old medical student from Nigeria. She loves to write and she cannot think of a better person to write about than Jesus! She is passionate about encouraging young women because she truly believes that a woman in Christ can change the world!
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