This past Friday at Youth, we talked about the tendency toward comparison and our place in the body of Christ. As adults, we are prone to comparison. We compare ourselves to others financially, relationally and spiritually. We often forget how uniquely God has made us, and rather than embracing the unity in our diversity, we compare.
For students, they are inundated with opportunities for comparison. People rarely post the mundane on social media, which means that they have constant access to peoples online highlight reels. It can be easy to compare what you see on social media with your regular life and find yourself lacking.
Hebrews 12:1-12 says this:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
I am not a runner, I can think of many other activities I’d rather be doing than running. However, I think the running metaphor is one that we can learn a lot from. One of the most important requirements for running is a pair of proper fitting shoes. If you’ve ever borrowed a friends shoes or got shoes that were a bit too small, it’s all you can think about when wearing them.
We’ve all heard the idiom about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. Shoes represent something deeply personal and they have a specific fit for each person.
For those of us who would call ourselves Christ Followers, I wonder how many of us have been trying to run the race before us with someone else’s shoes. We’ve watched people as they run their race and we think we need to be who they are. We’ve measured ourselves against them and find that things never quite seem to work. We’ve been running for a while now and we’re exhausted, frustrated and it’s been a long time since we’ve felt any kind of joy.
Just like the students on Friday, maybe you need to be reminded that God has made you on purpose for a purpose. I believe that the world around you desperately needs you to be who God has made you to be. Maybe you need to take your eyes off those around you and stop comparing yourself. Maybe, like the author of Hebrews instructs us to do, you need to put your eyes back on Jesus.