IT'S NOT A COMPETITION, IT'S A CALLING
Have you ever been in the middle of a special moment attempting to capture it on photo or video? A game winning touchdown or a baby’s first step or a walk at graduation are extremely rare moments. If only we could get just the right shot with the perfect light at just the right time! But have you ever noticed how much more special it is to simply soak in that moment instead of worrying about posting the big moment on social media to show everyone how great it is? Oh how we worry far too much about our portrayed image instead of the One Whose image is imprinted ON us!
1 Samuel 16:7 says, “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
This is so true. We can only see what other people produce on the outside, but God sees what is really inside of us - at the very core of who we are. How easy it is for us to get caught in the trap of focusing on what we produce instead of who we really are. We do this out of an attempt at comparing ourselves to those around us. Since we only see what they produce, we feel the need to one-up them. It is not about competing with others for who looks better on the outside! It has never been! We will only become discontent with our failure at reaching a certain level of perceived holiness when we compare ourselves to others. Competition leading to comparison leads to captivity.
God’s calling on our life, however, creates contentment; and “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6). God’s calling is not about what He wants us to do, but who He wants us to be. He knows that when He has His way with our heart, we are going to become something special. We must lay our heart at His feet in total surrender. Only then will He have His way. With this mindset, total focus on our calling, we will have no time to worry about comparing ourselves to others. In fact, saying “no” to the things of this world will become easy, while saying “yes” to the things of God will create in us this lifestyle of holiness. And remember, “Godliness (holiness) with contentment is great gain.”
This death to competition and comparison, coupled with a lifestyle of holiness birthed of true heart transformation, creates in us a fullness in Christ. Competition goes away because there is nothing to prove. Jesus already proved everything for us. Besides, our best is “filthy rags” before God anyway (Isaiah 64:6). Our approval comes from God’s approval of Jesus, Whose image we bear. We realize it is no longer about a carnal confidence but a spiritual confidence in Jesus. True freedom comes when you know you don’t have anything to prove because of this confidence in Jesus. And Jesus says of us, “Behold my servant, my chosen, in whom my soul delights” (Isaiah 42:1).