“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.” –Galatians 6:4-5 NIV
Just as I was patting myself on the back for getting up early and dragging my tush to the gym for a ‘rockin’ shoulder workout… I see my neighbor run past my car. That’s right. I didn’t even know she was my neighbor. I saw her running on the way to the gym. I saw her lifting weights at the gym. Now here I am in my toasty car, bundled up in a winter coat, gloves, earmuffs… and there she is: no coat, no gloves, no ear muffs. Just some leggings and a long sleeve shirt..and after she finished her workout… she ran all the way home! (It’s 38 degrees here, people!)
So, as I shrink down in my seat, hoping she doesn’t recognize me with my stylish earmuffs on, I suddenly don’t feel so great about my gym efforts. I feel defeated… and as I compare myself to said neighbor, I open a door for the enemy to creep in with all sorts of self-defeating thoughts that take me on a roller-coaster in my brain. And then I stop. I realize that her great workout does not negate the work that I just did. It just looks different. Perhaps I can use it as motivation, as I congratulate her in my mind. (Maybe a goal for when it’s warm- like 70 degrees.) Take those thoughts captive! Stop the crazy cycle! Those thought-trains are NOT from the Lord.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” –2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV (Emphasis added)
All throughout life, we have opportunities to compare ourselves to others: our looks, our social status, our Facebook “likes,” our Twitter “followers,” our jobs, our cars, our kids… but that’s not healthy. Comparison can lead to a path of misery, destruction, jealousy, bitterness, and death. Comparison is the quickest way to lose your joy, peace, and happiness. Run your own race. Carry your own load. Don’t worry about what everyone else has, is doing, or looks like. You are only seeing the highlight reel. You don’t have the full story. Don’t go down that path- its dangerous, my friend. Would you run down a path with your eyes fixed on the runner next to you, or would you focus on your own race? It’s like driving down the road staring at the car next to you instead of the road in front of you. You might crash, run over someone, miss an obstacle coming at you… and most importantly you might miss your exit: your destiny.
The Message Bible breaks down Galatians 6:4-5 like this:
“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.“
I think that pretty well sums it up. Take responsibility for doing the best you can with your own life/body/job/family/kids/pets/finances/self-discipline. I’m not giving you permission to be lazy, here. Don’t throw in the towel, saying “Well, I’ll never be the best, so why try?” Be YOUR best YOU. That means give it your all. If you’re struggling somewhere, seek help. Do research, ask a friend, consult an expert, see a Christian Counselor, and most importantly: PRAY. Ask God to highlight any areas where you need improvement. Ask God to be able to see yourself through His eyes. Ask our Father for discipline not to compare- and to be grateful for who you are. You will be surprised how your joy increases when you shift your focus. Just keep your eyes off of the car next to you… and on the open road before you.
Thank you for joining us for Day 19 ‘in the life’ of our fast here at RISENfitness. We are learning how to ‘run our own race’ right beside you… but not looking at you 😉
Here’s to your Health and 21 Day Fast!