When I first competed in a triathlon, the experience was a thrill and a challenge that I enjoyed. Yet I walked away unhappy with my finish times and placing. During the race I was in the pack and trying to keep up with the front-runners. It was so taxing and I felt more fatigued than usual. After being overtaken by a few people I became so frustrated, disappointed and discouraged that I wanted to quit. It’s no wonder I felt exhausted, I was comparing myself against those who had clearly been racing much longer than I.
Determined to improve, I picked myself up a multi sport watch so I could track my progress in pace, distance and time while training for the next event. It turned out to be a wise decision and I worked hard in training to improve on my personal best. Then when it came to race time, I was not comparing myself to others who ran beside me, but rather I ran according to my personal best pace in each part of the race. Wow! What a difference! I knew where to push myself and what my strengths were and the way I completed my race was no longer impacted by those around me.
I realised that by watching competitors around me, it only distracted and discouraged me from the game plan I had been working on. But when I raced according to the pace setter on my watch, it positioned me in the best place for me. In that race, I did my personal best in each leg of the race and worked to my my strengths. I love competition and am competitive by nature. I believe there can be a healthy sense of competition, but it can be dangerous when it becomes unhealthy competition.
Leader, let me encourage you to know yourself in ministry. Train for your game plan, to achieve your personal best and not to simply race against the rest. God has a plan for you, your life and ministry. He is your pace setter. Discover what His plan is, then pace yourself according to His pace, work hard and finish the race. Don’t get trapped in the comparison game. Comparison will only rob you, leave you dissatisfied and kill the joy you have. As 2 Corinth 10:12 says “.“…But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” Don’t compare your journey to others, just run your race. Train hard, work hard, enjoy life and ministry and reap the rewards.
Gal 6:4-5 MSG “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”