God has once again been speaking to my heart about comparison. I have posted about it before- how it steals our joy and undermines our purpose. Just recently I began doing a devotional from Lisa Bevere called “Without Rival.” The premise of it is that God fashioned each of us uniquely, with a specific purpose, and that we should be empowered to own that purpose instead of wishing we had someone else’s.
One definition of “unique” is without rival. This means comparison and competition don’t exist. This means we have our own race to run, and by all means we can cheer each other on, but it is a waste of time to covet another’s calling.
“Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” -2 Corinthians 10:12
I love how direct this verse is. When we compare ourselves with each other, we are “without understanding“! I feel like the Bible wants to say “stupid” here, but maybe that didn’t get translated into our English version.
I can’t help but wonder what my life would look like if I really, truly believed that God had a unique purpose for me and me alone. How much could we change the world if we spent our time pursuing the causes He has placed on our hearts with the gifts He has given us, instead of nervously glancing around to see what other people are doing and what clothes they’re wearing and why their house looks like a Pottery Barn photo shoot? Maybe I’m just speaking for myself here.
As I progress through this “Without Rival” devotional, I am spurred on to accept and embrace exactly who God created me to be. There is power in owning our own strengths, weaknesses, experiences, and joys. There is power in throwing off comparison and “running the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1). I’m excited to keep exploring what that looks like in my life, and I trust that God will work out the details as I continue to surrender to Him.
Catherine of Siena said it so beautifully and succinctly: “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”