“I don’t have to beat those trucks, they are going a different place than I am”. That was my response to my child’s eager request to go faster mommy so we can pass and beat that truck. That statement struck me deeply as I mediated over the profound truth that I discovered.
I immediately felt a peaceful calm of being in my lane and not trying to out-do or out-run anyone. Comparison steals that from us, the resolve of being at peace in one’s current state or lane. I remember my Dad sharing that analogy with me several years ago. He said, “It’s easy to look at the other cars going pass you and you might feel tempted to drive faster to keep up to their pace, but that’s their pace, find your own pace and stay in your lane”. That’s wisdom right there!
Comparison is like trying to find your house using someone else’s address. Sounds a little foolish, right? Well, that’s what Apostle Paul thought as well in 2 Corinthians 10:12, “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise”.
Our measuring stick need not be each other.
Look what Paul says in Galatians 6:4-5, “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load”. We are responsible for our actions, we are to carry our own load and stay in our own lane.
We were not meant to measure ourselves by someone’s actions or stats. Comparison gets us nowhere productive.
Driving at someone else’s pace, and in someone’s lane will delay our arrival to our designed destination. Comparison leads you to exhaustion and frustration. Andy Stanley states profoundly “There is no win in comparison”. It’s a thief, an impostor that masquerades under the false pretenses of toiling and striving. It’s a bully that pushes us around so we are constantly spinning our wheels trying to measure up and keep up with the person in the next lane ahead of us. Comparisons’ appetite is never satisfied; it always wants more, it wants to do better, be better, and look better than. Its appetite keeps us captive to stress and the internal pressure of never quite measuring up.
It’s not easy, there will be distractions on the road, but rest assured, there is a lane with your name on it. Everything you need in life, you will find in your lane. There will be detours, but if you keep your eyes focused on the road signs find in the word of God, and listen to the navigator of all navigations systems who is your Heavenly Father, peace, and joy will be with you. The journey was meant to be enjoyed! I believe God knew it would be a challenge to stay focus and to stay in our lane, so like any good Father, He gave us sound advice. “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet (that’s stewardship) and be steadfast (resolute, unwavering devoted, committed) in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4:25-27).
Stay in your lane, keep at your pace, look straight ahead, stay committed, devoted, and resolute in your journey, and trust the one who holds it all together. Do not look to the right or the left because you might get jealous and envious of those ahead of you and you might feel prideful when considering those behind you. The truth is, we don’t actually know if the person is where God intended them to be! They may be way behind or falling short of God wills for them in their own lane! I know there are seasons in our lives when it seems we are at a standstill on our journey. There is no obvious progress and it seems like the lane you are in is the slow one. Be encouraged that your pace, your road signs, the curves and dips in the road are all a part of God’s perfect timing for your life. You are in good and capable hands. He sees the big picture. He has a bird’s eye view of your life and the journey it takes to get you to your final destination. Trade in your perspective for His, it makes all the difference. He has the right vantage point.
Scarcity vs Abundance Mentality
If you know, really know that your Heavenly Father has plans to prosper and not to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11), we would trust Him a little more with our journey. Have you heard of the Scarcity vs Abundance Mentality? I was reading the book Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst, in which she used the quote by Stephen Covey that stated, “The Scarcity Mentality sees life as having only so much, as though there was only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everyone else. They have a very hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people. An Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody”. What a phenomenal way to look at life, there is plenty out there for all of us so no need to strive to out-run or out-do each other. If we adopted the abundance mentality instead of the scarcity mentality, I believe our struggle to compare would diminish, because we would know our Heavenly Father has provisions especially for us, and other peoples’ success or pace doesn’t take away from our success.
“I don’t have to beat those trucks, they are going a different place than I am”. I can rest easy, be at peace, embrace and enjoy my journey, at my pace, in my lane, stewarding well what’s in my lane, cheering on those who are ahead of me, and encouraging those who are behind me. Because if we all get to our designed destinations, WE ALL WIN!
***SHARE WITH US***
Share with us any lessons you have learned about comparison. Have you heard of the scarcity vs abundance mentality? How do you beat or defeat the comparison trap?