“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21)
Richard C. Halverson, former chaplain of the United States Senate, said: “Want to be a winner? Compete against yourself, not somebody else … Outrunning your rival doesn’t mean you ran your best race. You can win over another and still not fulfil your potential … To be your best, you must compete with yourself. It’s life’s biggest contest. A loser is a winner — however many his losses — if he conquers himself. A winner is a loser — however many his victories — if he loses the battle with himself.
Alexander the Great conquered the world, and cursed his own lack of self-control. Victory over others may in fact be the very thing that contributes to the winner’s failure to conquer self. Winning makes him proud, arrogant, independent, thoughtless — and sometimes cruel.
To put it another way, it isn’t what happens to you that makes the difference, but how you handle it. The one who stops maturing spiritually because he thinks he knows more Scripture than others or has more success in ministry, is still far from being what Christ planned for him. Compared to others you may look good, but God’s plan is to produce in you the character qualities of Christ.
“This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind … Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and … how to do it, step-by-step. He never did one thing wrong, not once said anything amiss. They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right” (vv. 2:21-23).
Heavenly Father, help me to stop comparing myself to others but rather to what YOU can do in and through me and what Your plan is for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.