I have a confession to make: Last Thursday I was on Facebook and I came across a post that was talking about five steps to being a better person. It wasn’t the title that caught my attention, it was the beautiful graphics and professionally recorded video featuring a seemingly super successful woman that showed her in front of a crowd of thousands of women. And I thought to myself, “What am I doing wrong?” And, “Why am I not that successful?” It wasn’t a conscious thought, but more of an instinct that drove me to stalk her. I began to look into her website and dig into her about page and wondered what she had that I didn’t.
After about 10 minutes, it hit me… I was comparing myself! I couldn’t believe it. The very thing I teach women to avoid was sucking me in.
I wish I could say that was the first and last time I was tempted to compare myself to another person. But if I’m being completely truthful, it happens all the time. From careers to cars, makeup to ministry, I catch myself all the time wondering if I’m behind or perhaps lacking in some way.
Don’t get me wrong, for the most part I feel really good about who I am and where God has me, but it wasn’t always that way. For a long time, I was constantly being pulled in every direction depending on whom I was comparing myself to.
Then I read Hebrews 12:1:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
At that moment, I realized how crucial it was to run your own race. In fact, It reminded me of when I used to run track in school.
My coach would tell us, “Do not look at your opponent. It will only slow you down. Keep your eyes fixed on two things and two things only: YOUR lane and the finish line.”
Little did I know that piece of advice would serve me well for my entire life.
Everyone has their own race to run and even though they may be running next to you, it doesn’t mean they are your opponent. God’s blessings are plentiful. There’s more than enough to go around.
I also discovered how important it was to keep the original. When you compare yourself to others you end up with a distorted version of who God created you to be. There was an experiment done years ago that took some of the most desirable features of the world’s most beautiful women and put them together into one person. They used Halle Berry’s nose and Angelina Jolie’s lips and a few other features of other prominent women and the final result was disturbing. It wasn’t attractive at all. That’s what happens when you try to pull pieces of other people into your reality. The end result is a distorted, disturbing version of the original.
I also realized that getting caught up in unfairnesswill pull you under and cause you to miss your unique calling. You have been called for a one-of-a-kind purpose. I can’t explain why some people excel faster than others or why some seem to prosper while others struggle. I do know that if God wanted it to be different, it would be.
John 21:21-22 reminds us to mind our own business. Jesus was speaking powerful things into Peter’s life and in that moment Peter turned and asked about what Jesus was going to do with John. And in essence, Jesus turned and told Peter, never mind what I want to do with him, it’s not your business.
It is God’s desire that you run your race with perseverance and keep your eye on the prize. There’s only one you and you’re the only the one who can do what God’s called you to do.