My Teresa has a paper on our refrigerator titled “Tips for an exceptional, superb, and powerful life.” It is a list of 39 suggestions. Why 39? If I came up with 39 I think I would add one more to make it an even 40. But it is a good list. May I share just one with you today? Number 23 on the list is simple yet profound.
Don’t compare your life to others! You have no idea what their journey has been.
One of the most foolish games that many people play today is the comparison game: How much do I make compared to him? How does my family compare to his? Compare, compare, compare…
If you play the comparison game, rather than living your own life, you will keep changing who you are, based on who everybody else is, thus canceling out your identity and your uniqueness; not playing follow the leader but rather follow the follower, just trying to keep up with everyone else who happen to be doing the same thing.
Real success is not measured in where you are. Real success is measured in how far you have come. Now before you go on stop and let that statement sink in. All of us had a different starting point. So stop the foolish comparison game. The only one you really need to be compared to is yourself and the image and expectation GOD has of you.
2 Corinthians 10:12 says “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
Comparing themselves to others….in other words they are using the wrong standard, too worried about others.
When my sons were growing up it was a common thing for me to remind them to be proud of the fact that they were who they were. Don’t be like everyone else. You be who you are. You are a Taylor. I am sure it didn’t always “stick” but more times than not they were true to themselves. They were individuals. And now as men, they are leaders more than followers. I am proud of their independence.
GOD expects us to be men. Be true to ourselves. Be who we are. Be who He meant us to be. How can we become who He wants us to be if we keep trying to be someone else? If we keep changing who we are? If we keep comparing ourselves to an imperfect standard?
You can be the best you but you will be a very poor someone else.
When GOD called to Adam, “Adam, where art thou?” it wasn’t because He didn’t know where Adam was. Maybe it was a rhetorical question meant to cause Adam to do some soul searching. Adam where are you in life?
So I say to you. Where are you? Who are you? Are you trying to be someone you are not? Are you trying to follow the masses, which incidentally will cause you to be eternally lost? Where are you in life?
A wise man once explained, that if you constantly measure the “today you” to the “today others” so that the “today others” is the standard instead of the “today unique you” that God created, you will never be who GOD wants you to be.
What does GOD expect of me, today, where I am in life, now, regardless of those around me? After all, they will not be held accountable for my talents as I will be. No one has my unique experiences and abilities.
Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead said about the same thing: “The secret is not to be the best of the best but the real secret is to be the only one that does what you do.”