Two of my favorite Bible characters are Peter and John. They have this rivalry, this competition going. And they are funny.
John makes it a point to tell us he was the one Jesus loved.
On the first Resurrection Day, Peter and John raced to the tomb. Peter won the race, but John makes sure we know he was the first to enter the tomb.
In John 21:15-22, we have the incident where Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him. In verse 19, Jesus tells Peter how he would die. Peter’s response? He looked at John, who was behind him, and said, “What about him? How is he going to die?” Jesus basically told Peter it was none of his business.
It’s like the two were competing to see who was the most important apostle.
I’m Called to Be Faithful
Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life Church spoke on these verses. The takeaway is God didn’t call me to be important. He called me to be faithful. When I seek the esteem of others, I’m following my own agenda, not God’s. I want to be noticed for what I’ve done.
When I’m faithful to run the race God has given me, then I can do important things. Important in God’s eyes, not necessarily in my own eyes or anyone else’s.
God equips me and gives me the grace to run my race if I do it in obedience and humility. If I wonder what another person’s race is like, I take my eyes off God and I focus on who’s going to be the most important. I’ve gone from cooperating with other Christians to competing with them.
Comparison Never Helps
Comparing myself to others seldom, if ever, has a good outcome. If I see myself as better—hello Pride. And Pride becomes another barrier God has to work through to get me back on track. When he breaks through to me, it’s hard to deal with the shame and embarrassment that follow.
Believe me, I know. It’s so much better to walk in humility than humiliation. God doesn’t humiliate us. He would never do that. We humiliate ourselves.
Wondering what another’s race is like, comparing my race to their race distracts me from the purpose God has for me. This is exactly where Satan wants me. Distracted and stumbling off course.
Recently, the American Christian Fiction Writers announced their awards. We all congratulate the winners. But how many of us wonder why they won and someone else didn’t? That’s not our business. Our business is to write what God tells us to write. We write for his glory, not ours.
My focus needs to be on my own calling and my relationship with Jesus.