“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
A few years ago I found myself caught up in another failed New Year’s resolution of joining a gym and running (fast-paced walking is the same, right??) on the treadmill every day. The gym I joined had a long row of about 15 treadmills and, of course, on day one the only open treadmill was next to a guy who looked like he lived in the gym (his New Year’s resolution should’ve been to eat more carbs). But of course, the testosterone in me rose to new peaks and I felt that I should be keeping up with him.
I was going to prove that I could be as physically fit as he was. He set his treadmill to 20 minutes and so did I. A few minutes in and I found myself constantly glancing over to see if he was sweating as hard as I was – not even a drip. I didn’t even sip my water unless he sipped his. Just 19 minutes in and I was ready to fall over. I was so relieved to see his timer counting down to the final minute of 20. Then he did something unbelievable – he added 10 more minutes.
At this point I was so shocked and distraught by his actions that my brain functionality must have paused because my legs stopped moving and next thing I knew I was on the floor. Most embarrassing moment of my life. I still blame him for my failed New Year’s Resolution, but really the blame should be put on the word “comparison.”
Comparison is one of the most destructive weapons that the devil uses against us. When we live in comparison with someone else’s life; we completely lose our identity.
Comparison clouds the clarity of God’s call on your life. Every human on earth has a unique fingerprint; a token of individuality. In the same sense, we are all called by God for different purposes. No one else has your purpose and you don’t have theirs either, and that’s for a reason. When you see someone walking on the path of their destiny the last thing you should ever do is try to walk the same path – no matter how good it looks.
Think of it like this, you live in London and your cousin lives in Florida. Your cousin plants a palm tree and after years of careful care, it grows to be big and beautiful. You see a photo of your cousin’s palm tree and you decide you need one too. Well, I’ll give you a hint at how this plays out – have you ever seen a palm tree in London? There is probably a reason for that. Palm trees were not meant to be grown in London. The climate and geography are not conducive to palm trees growing.
The season that you’re living in is bound to be different than the person you are comparing yourself to. You will never be content in comparing yourself to another person, and you will be left feeling empty, having neither fulfilled their purpose or you own.
Want to know why Lucifer got kicked out of Heaven? He started to compare himself to God.
Why did Cain slaughter his brother Abel? He compared his offering to his brother’s.
Why did 12 of Jesse’s sons sell their youngest brother, Joseph, into slavery? They compared their cloaks to his.
Why did Saul hate David so much? 1 Samuel 18 reveals that Saul heard women in the streets comparing the amount of men they had each killed. The devil used that simple comparison to consume Saul’s mind to the point that he wanted David dead at any cost.
Comparison will suffocate the lungs of your mind and cause you to act irrationally. Just imagine how different things would turn out if we didn’t get so busy trying to live other people’s lives. It’s time that we stop “keeping up with the Kardashians” and start owning the identities that God has given us. That is the only way we can ever successfully complete the race that He has called us to run.
Keep your eyes on Jesus, the finish line of our faith – not on the other racers. Trust me, you’ll end up on the floor feeling extremely embarrassed.