Do you ever find yourself feeling inadequate in comparison to others, especially those who seem to really shine in a particular area? It’s something we all struggle with from time to time, I’ll admit that I have. If you’ve ever been there, you know that jealousy and comparison can creep into our hearts and quickly turn into ugly monsters that don’t play nice!
The Bible teaches that we are many parts of one body, with different roles that are all so very important. A spirit of comparison can keep us from fulfilling our purpose because we’re overly concerned with what others are doing. Instead of letting these destructive habits consume your life, I want to challenge you to find your own lane and run your race well.
I hope these ideas will help you identify and embrace the unique calling God has for you:
1. Start small.
Don’t feel like you have to be everything to everyone, or that your success is measured in worldly terms. Look around you for small ways you can serve others and make a difference. Think about your own areas of giftedness and plan a few steps you can take to develop those gifts. Take on a new responsibility or leadership role, even if it’s outside your comfort zone. Step out in faith and ask God to bless your efforts. Whatever you do, do it for His glory, not man’s approval. For man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.
2. Know your identity in Christ.
Many of our jealous thoughts spring from a place of insecurity in our own lives. When we are secure in who God made us to be, we are freed to pursue His calling with confidence and a singular focus. Take time to weed out lies you’re believing so that you can view your purpose through God’s loving design - He created you the way you are and gave you a unique sphere of influence, voice, and set of abilities that no one else has!
3. Become a champion.
The best way to kill a competitive spirit is to become a champion of others. Another person’s success does not negate what you bring to the table, so look for opportunities to speak words of encouragement and support to those around you. Stop negative thoughts as soon as you start to head down that road. Ask God to replace any destructive patterns with a heart to uplift others and a focus to serve Him in humility. Apologize and ask for forgiveness if you have treated anyone unkindly out of jealousy or spite.
4. Don’t overextend yourself.
Give yourself grace to pursue excellence in a few areas instead of mediocrity in many. When you are spread too thin with commitments that don’t line up with your purpose, you may find yourself drained of the energy you need to meet those demands. If you’re the person who typically says yes to everything, you could be preventing someone else from stepping into a role they would be perfectly fit to fill! Give your best to the things you are truly passionate about and don’t overshadow others in their pursuits.
5. Be teachable.
Maybe there is someone a little further along than you who seems to be running their race well and reaping the fruit of their efforts. Instead of viewing them as competition, why not seek out their wisdom to sharpen your own skills/knowledge and learn from their experiences? We all need an occasional word of honest constructive criticism, it’s how we grow. Invite people into your life who can challenge you to better yourself. Be a team player and elevate others by approaching them with a teachable attitude.