Jul 13, 2021

Compete With Yourself

Are you trying to run in someone else's lane?  

Are you comparing your lane to someone else's lane?  

Are you jealous because the church across town built a new children's ministry building?  

Are you pridefully glancing back at another runner that is way behind you?

Are you secretly gloating because you have more kids in your ministry than the lady that is running two lanes over from you?

Are you woefully wishing your ministry budget was as large as the person running three lanes over?

Are you delighting in the fact that you got to speak at a conference while others did not?

Let's be honest.  All of us have been guilty of many of these comparisons gone wrong.  

And the Bible is clear to say that comparison in these contexts is not wise.  Look what it says in 2 Corinthians 10:12.

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

But there is one comparison that we should make. There is one competition we should engage with. 

And that is this.  

We should compare ourselves with ourselves.  We should constantly be striving to improve as a leader and to better fulfill God's plan for our life. 

Look what Paul says in 2 Timothy 4...

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, and I have remained faithful.  And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to His appearing.

Paul finished the course God had for planned for him.  He finished his race.  Not someone elses. Look what else he says about this in Philippians 3:14... 

 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Paul consistently pressed forward to become a better Paul.  

And that is what you should do with the race God has placed before you. Press forward.  Run hard.  Compare where you are now to where you were a year ago.  Compare how your spiritual health is from a year ago.  Compare your prayer life to previous years.  Compare how many people you are mentoring and pouring into compared to last year. 

Is the person in the mirror telling you there are too many roadblocks?  Is the person in the mirror telling you that you don't have anything left to give?  Is the person in the mirror telling you that your best days are over?  Is the person in the mirror telling you that you are too old to accomplish anything else?  Is the person in the mirror telling you to give up? That you are done?  Washed up?

You've got it in you.  Push yourself.  Ask God to help you run strong on the course He prepared for you and you alone.  Set goals not to beat other people. Set goals to beat yourself.  Work harder than you did last year (smarter and harder). Pray more than you did last year. Strive to reach more people with the Gospel than you did last year.  Read more books this year than you did last year. 

Remember, there is only one you. You are one-of-a-kind.  No one can run your course. Stop trying to be like someone else and embrace the course God has provided for you and you alone. 

Keep competing with yourself.  Your best days are ahead if you will stay on your course.

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