We are bombarded with opportunities these days to compare ourselves to others. The media is resplendent with pleas to see how you stack up against the hottest celebrity, the most awesome athlete, or the most influential politician. It runs rampant in the workforce also. One worker is compared to a coworker when it comes time for raises or promotions. In schools students are graded on curves in relation to the rest of the class. We are a society who doesn’t only want to keep up with the Joneses; we want to know we are better than the Joneses.
As Christians, though, we really are just living for an audience of One. God doesn’t require us to be better than anyone else. He doesn’t look at us in comparison to our neighbor or coworker. He measures us against our own potential. I admit this has been a hard concept for me. I get sucked into the hype of the media and corporate world. When I was in school I found myself working to be smarter, better, more prepared than my classmates. It is tiring to always be trying to be better, more.
God doesn’t ask us to be better than the Joneses. Psalm 139 tells us He knew us while we were being knitted together in our mother’s womb. He had a plan for us from the beginning. The reality is He doesn’t care if we can surpass each other. All He really cares about is if we are open to His leading. He wants us to be who He created us to be. He wants us to surpass who we are in the flesh and become more like Him.
When we are so busy trying to create ourselves in the image of some star, mentor, or famous athlete we are missing the chance to be the one He created. And, God has let me in on a little secret as He and I have explored this idea. If I am busy focusing on being me and living up to God’s expectations for me I will be exactly what I am supposed to be. I won’t have to worry if I can be as smart or thin or agile as anyone else. The world may not appreciate me, but God will.