Comparison stifles us. It clips our wings, buries our hopes, and threatens our God-purpose.
I know comparison too well. I could tell you many stories of its hold on me, but I’ll tell you one of my favorite. It’s a story of pride, running shoes, and an old lady. (I wasn’t the old lady.)
I used to be a runner. Really more of a jogger.
Sometimes I called myself a “wogger”– that’s a walk and jog combined.
Anyway, during my first 5-K I noticed an elderly lady running the race. She was a bag of bones pacing herself slowly down the road.
I confess that I shot a bratty prayer up to God telling Him that I would quit running if she finished before me.
It seemed I was ahead of her until I turned down the final stretch. I took my eyes off my feet and lifted my face to see my nemesis clicking away right. in. front. of. me. Yes, that wise ancient runner who’d run many races before me knew how to pace the race, and she finished seconds before my Nikes crossed the line.
Despite my prior “threat” to God (who probably didn’t care if I quit running, but who did care about my heart), I didn’t quit. I was just happy to cross that line.
It no longer mattered who finished in front of me.
I think heaven will be like that.
[tweetability]When we cross into heaven all comparisons we’ve made will fade away in the Presence of the One who is the whole reason we have a finish line.[/tweetability]
“…the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2)
The Greek word that was translated as “perfecter” is Teleitotes. It means “completer.” (Key-Word, NIV) Jesus completed the faith.
Jesus gave breath to this thing called faith.
He birthed the story, and then He put it to the test Himself, completing it . . . giving it an ending.
The commentary from my Key-Word Study Bible explains,
“Jesus is presented as the supreme model of this way of life (way of faith). Where others failed, He succeeded. By His unerring life of faith, Jesus made the way to God for those who follow Him.”
Jesus is the completer of the faith.
The rest of that verse says, ” . . . who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.”
What’s a cross?
Pain? Suffering? Humility? I think it’s more than that.
I see the cross as . . .
The Cross was a place of death and denial and pain but it was also the reason Jesus came. It was His ultimate purpose.
Run my friends. Keep your eyes not on the finish line or a fellow believer –who you will compare yourself to and become discouraged.
Keep your eyes on Jesus. And run with your purpose.
How do we know our purpose? Let’s talk about that Friday.
What do you do to keep your eyes on Jesus? Your comment will encourage others!
“Running” with joy,
Photo attribution of girls running: Sam Hood [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Oh, Andy, I LOVE this post and your story of the ancient runner brought it home big time. I’m not even a “wogger” yet, but you’ve made me want to get out and run. Simply beautiful, this is, and I’m sharing!
Thank you Cheryl! Go girl go!
Thanks for this Andy. Just last night I was having all these doubts about this writing journey again…because due to my health issues) I cannot write and post on my blog as often as I’d like…as often as “others” do, and sometimes there’s a little envy there as well. Yet God keeps confirming through His Word and through others it IS what I’m supposed to be doing. Comparisons can seriously hinder our purpose.
Whether I’m discouraged, angry, hurt, or stressed, I try to ask God for His perspective on the situation. I ask for and seek after His wisdom. It all needs to go back to Him. He always answers, (sometimes in extremely bold and clear ways!) when I seek and listen. That’s why I picked the name I did for my blog…Gazing Toward the Son. :)
Debbie, are you familiar with “broken but priceless” ministries? Erin Austin is a friend of mine who started this ministry. It’s for those fighting illness. I’ve got to connect you! She knows exactly your battle and you might be able to write for her magazine! I love the name of your blog.
Oh Andy thank you so much! I am not familiar with that ministry, but I cannot wait to connect with Erin! I’m trying to type this through tears…crazy! It’s always a balance between acceptance of my limitations, and trying to be disciplined to push through…when I can. Other days there simply is no push left. Please do connect us! Thank you!