“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.” (Hebrews 12:1) NLT
Recently, I had a conversation with someone who had received a Christmas card from an old friend. This card recounted the joyous times over the past year for their family and included numerous overseas trips and adventures. It was a typical yearly review letter, but in the hands of the receiver it became a tool that the devil used to make her feel worthless. As we visited, she commented about how she had never been to those places and how her life didn’t echo the same achievements as the letter she had received from her friend. As I listened intently, what I heard beyond the words spoken was, I’m not good enough. My life doesn’t include all those accomplishments. I then gently reminded her of all the blessings she had in her life. Her blessings looked different than her friends, but were blessings just the same.
Here’s the thing: worth will never be found in comparison. In our conversation I remember saying, “Stay in your lane, run your race.” Hebrews 12 tells us to run the race God has set before us. It doesn’t say to run our neighbor’s race or our friend’s race. We are to run the race God set before us. God has a good and perfect plan for our life. BUT…… His plan will look different for you than everyone else’s plan. God didn’t create any two human beings the same. Why then do we look to others to see if we measure up instead of looking up and keeping our eyes on the prize? Horses in races are often given blinders to keep their focus solely in front of them, the race that they have to run. I think many times in life we would do well by doing the same thing.
Hebrews 12 also says to strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. I believe that one of these things for us is comparing; drawing our worth from how we stack up to those we know. In our social media frenzy this seems ever so tempting.
I don’t know what it is for you. Is it a Facebook friend, a seemingly harmless Christmas letter, or a neighbor on your street? Whatever it is, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate where our worth comes from. Our goal is to hear, “well done good and faithful servant.” We can’t be faithful trying to run someone else’s race. We must stay in our lane and run the race set before us.
Father, thank you for my sweet friends that are trying to navigate this life right alongside me. I pray that we would keep our eyes on you and what you have for us to do. May our life goal truly be to hear you say, “well done”. Keep us focused and free from the things that would trips us up. We need you every day. Thank you, Jesus. Amen