When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.2 Corinthians 10:12, New International Version
For most of my life I’ve had a competitive streak. From report cards to card games, I wanted to outdo everyone at everything. Somehow the idea of not excelling and being the best was a threat to my security and well-being. In my mind, coming in second place was the same as being first loser.
During my second-year Charis Bible College missions trip, I came face to face with my insecurity. Sitting in the rear of the bus one day as our team traveled back from an outreach, I mulled over the events of the trip thus far. I had been able to give a testimony during one outreach, but I hadn’t been chosen to do anything “important.” I was feeling invisible and unnecessary, and I didn’t like my “background” role.
At the same time, I knew my attitude was wrong. After all, every member of Christ’s body is essential and equally valued, and it was the same for every member of our team, including me.
Thankful that no one could read my thoughts, I prayed and asked God for help.
That same night, the Lord woke me up with a scripture, taken from the Mirror Bible:
Quit your efforts to try and impress one another. The law of works reduces your life to envious comparison and petty competition, while love only always seeks the advantage of the other!Galatians 5:26
Hardly noticing the reproof in the Lord’s words, I was so grateful for His directive—and for the answer to my longtime dilemma.
In one short verse, God revealed that my competitive streak was the result of comparing myself with others. Insecure about my unique value to God, I felt like I needed to compete with everyone to validate my importance. I was never able to settle down and be comfortable with the person God made me to be. And more importantly, my insecurity kept me self-absorbed rather than others-focused.
In his Don’t Limit God book, Andrew says that being ignorant of our value as God’s children limits God and His ability to work through us:
“God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). He wants to do absolutely miraculous things in everyone’s life. God has never made a piece of junk. He has never made an inferior person. We all have something that God wants to accomplish through us, but most of us are ignorant of this and have bought into the lie that there’s nothing special about us. But the truth is that we are all unique and can do something that nobody else can.” (p. 3)
With thankfulness and a new perspective, I finished out my missions trip, grateful for the opportunity to do whatever I was asked.
Since then, I continue to renew my mind about my worth in God’s eyes. And I’m coming to realize that although I may not be the best at everything, I’m the best at being me. And I can live with that.