We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves among themselves, they are not wise. 2 Corinthians 10:12
Comparison is a dangerous game. Even Paul knew that--he's the one who said those words above in Corinthians. For so many reasons--pride, guilt, shame--we are not meant to compare ourselves to others. If you want to compare to something, compare to yourself. Are you growing? Has your spiritual muscle gotten stronger this year? Are you less bitter and more joyful? Are you spending more time in the Word?
Ohh...and that last one is the one that gets us, right? It's the ultimate question in our game of Who Loves Jesus More? Who spends more time with Him...
Thing is, this whole "time" thing is like conditioning our bodies. I'm not in the best shape lately. My muscles are not quite what they used to be and my endurance is low. If you asked me to lift a fifty pound weight, I could do it, but I couldn't hold it long. And to run a race without stopping? Forget it. And if I were to compare myself to my Iron Man Hubby, I'd get defeated very, very quickly.
But Hubby didn't wake up one morning and swim 2 miles, bike 112, and then run a marathon to top it all off. No. He built up his endurance. He slowly changed his habits. He stuck with it and got a little farther every single day.
It's the same exact thing with our time with God. Getting into the habit of spending time with Him, well, it takes time. We cannot compare ourselves to others who have already conditioned that spiritual muscle. They've worked at it. They've established habits--and kept them. And when they stumbled in the process, they didn't give up.
Too often we look at someone who spends two hours with God every morning and think:
A) I could never do that--and we give up before trying.
B) I am an awful, awful Christian because I don't do that--and we let guilt stop us from trying.
C) I CAN do that all at once--then we stop because we're overwhelmed by how much we bit off.
Stop comparing yourself to another Christian (who knows what God's called them to train for!) and start seeking what He wants YOU to train for. Ask Him to put together your training plan, and then follow it. I'm not called to run an Iron Man like Hubby (uh no, no-way, no-how), but I do want to get in shape. So my plan isn't going to look like his as he prepares for another race this fall. But if I never get out there and follow my plan, I'll never change. It takes initiative on my part. It takes starting small and building my muscle, building my endurance, and then adding on a little each day, each week. For you and time with God, maybe that means getting up ten minutes earlier this week and reading a verse. Maybe it means not watching that half-hour show in the evenings and instead reading a chapter. Whatever it is, make one small change and let that grow into bigger changes.
And slowly, before you know it, you're there.
Have you ever participated in a race of any kind? I signed up for one once, but it got rained out. So, my first official race is next month! Our whole family is doing it, my goal is to keep up with our 7-year-old. I'll let you know how I do :)