This morning I was reading in John chapter 21, where Jesus had appeared for a third time to his disciples after his resurrection. In verse 15 Jesus begins a conversation with Peter by challenging Peter to "feed his sheep". Jesus then goes on to let Peter know that he will have to possibly suffer in death for God’s glory.
I find it fascinating that Peter's first inclination was to look back over his shoulder to John, the "disciple Jesus loved", and to say, "What about him Lord?”. Jesus basically tells Peter to just worry about himself and his own calling to follow.
I find passages like this refreshing because for me, it puts flesh and bones on the people in the bible. I can so relate to Peter at times! It can be so tempting to look at other people and wonder, “What about them Lord?”…“Why do they get to have the success?”…”Why don’t they have to walk through difficulty?”.
So often, we are prone to look to a fellow brother or sister in Christ and to watch the race that they are running compared to the race that Christ has called us to run. We can find it so hard to stay in our lanes, being faithful to the race that Christ has called us to.
We compare talents, we compare successes and we compare life circumstances. More often than not, the temptation comes when we are in a season of difficulty, when we're struggling, or when we are called to walk through a tough set of circumstances. It can also be tempting to compare when we see others experience blessing.
At times, we all want to ask, “Why me and not them?" or “Why them and not me?”. Comparison can be an awful thing because if it remains unchecked, it can create a bitterness in us and an addiction to looking at others lives and situations rather than being faithful to our own calling. It causes us to totally lose our effectiveness.
This morning I needed the Holy Spirit to remind me that I am called to follow Christ and to run the race He has set for me. In Hebrews, the author reminds us that we are called to run our race with perseverance throwing off sin that so easily in tangles and ensnares us. I need to fight the urge to look at others and to compare the ways God has blessed them, with my calling. My own race alone is more than I can handle without trying to imitate and compare with someone else's race!
Let's remind ourselves today that God has called each of us to live for his glory no matter what He brings our way. Let's be confident that our God is refining us in a way that is totally unique from anything else and anyone else.
He has plans for each of us individually to prosper and not to harm us. Plans for good! Our God is good and we need to be able to trust Him enough that no matter what he allows to enter our lives, we can rest in the fact that he's bringing about good, that he loves us more than anything we could imagine and that we are called to persevere for his glory and our good.
If we can begin to see life this way, then we can look at other's lives and the things God has called them to. Rather than compare, we can then encourage them in all joy, with all sincerity.
This morning I am choosing to be confident that my God is working all things together for good in my life. I’m choosing to embrace the road He has me on and to resist the comparison game. I’m also choosing to be an encouragement to others as they run the race God has called them to.