One the most detrimental things we can do in any area of life is compare ourselves to others. Comparing ourselves to others either keeps us feeling beat down because we perceive those we are comparing ourselves to are better than we are or it keeps us living a mediocre life because the people we choose to compare ourselves to make it easy for us to feel better than them.
What is true in our everyday life is true in our spiritual lives as well. Each one of us has a particular race to run. God set before us a path to follow so that we can accomplish all that He wants us to do. The path God leads one person on to run the race probably will not be the path God leads another person on to run their race. We see this all throughout Scripture.
Think about Moses and Joshua. Moses stood before Pharaoh, led the people out of Egypt and through their journey’s in the wilderness. Throughout the time that Moses led Israel, they rebelled against his leadership, talked about killing him, talked bad about his wife, rebelled against God and went through periods of God’s judgment. After 40 years of leading gripey, whiney people on a 40 year journey, God took Moses to the top of a mountain, showed him the Promised Land and then killed him. Moses was allowed to see the Promised Land but not able to set foot in it.
Joshua took over for Moses and it was like an entirely different group of people. They were basically faithful to God, gladly followed Joshua’s leadership, trusted God, fought hard and conquered the Promised Land. Joshua’s experience as leader of the people was vastly easier than Moses’ experience as leader.
Was Joshua more successful than Moses?
Was Joshua more faithful than Moses?
Was God more please with Joshua than He was with Moses?
The answer to all of these questions is no. Each of them had a particular race that God had sat before them. Neither was to compare himself with the other. They were simply to run the race that was set before them.
“…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)
We are to run the race that God has set before us. The race God has set before you isn’t the race God has set before me. The race God has set before you has its own particular pain. The race that God has set before me has its own particular pain. We can’t look at the race someone else is running and want their victories instead of our pain. We must run the individual race that God has set before us.
For further study read John 21:15-23.
What does Jesus tell Peter running his race will eventually mean in verse 18?
What does verse 19 say this referred to?
What does verse 19 say Peter was to do?
What is Peter’s question in verses 20-21?
How did Jesus respond in verse 22?
What does this teach us about the fact that we all run unique races as we follow Jesus?
What does this teach us about comparing our race to someone else’s race?