We live in a very competitive society in which it seems everyone is trying to “out-do” the next person. In the business industry, companies try to outperform one another. In sports arenas, teams try to win over their opponent. In the entertainment world, celebrities clamor to be the most popular with the fans. If we’re not careful, we can take on that same competitive spirit and be robbed from enjoying God’s best for our lives.
In 2 Corinthians 10:12, Paul sternly warns that those who insist on “measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” Guarding against comparisons is a battle we face every day. For instance, when I was in school, my natural tendency was to gauge my success by comparing my grades with others in the class. Thankfully, however, I eventually realized that the grades other people received had no relevance to mine. I realized that if I was content in the grade I achieved, I should be happy regardless of how better or worse anybody else did.
The principle remains the same for many facets of life. Hebrews 12:1-2 exhorts us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus.” We all have our own race to run, and we can only do so successfully by focusing on Jesus. However, we can’t fix our eyes on Jesus if we constantly turn from side to side to see what everybody else is doing. People who measure themselves against others only enslave themselves to a life of unrest. No one will ever find true contentment by chasing someone else.
Jesus even warned His disciples against competition. In John 21:21, Peter asked Jesus about His will concerning one of the other disciples. Jesus answered him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow me” (v. 22). In other words, Jesus was saying, “Peter, my will for his life makes no difference to you. You do what I’ve called you to do and be content in that.” The words of Jesus are the same for us today. Our job is to simply follow Him in the areas He has called us to walk, avoiding the distractions of competition.
Be who God has called you to be regardless of what anybody else does. Think about it: How can you ever fulfill God’s will for your life if you’re always trying to be like someone else? Focus on Jesus and run your race. Only then will you find true contentment in the Lord.