Don’t Look To The Left Or The Right
In the process of continuing on and staying committed, it can be very tempting to look around and see what others are doing. It’s not wrong to be inspired by or adopt new ideas from people around you, but it is wrong to compare yourself to them or put yourself in competition with them. Remember, your race is specifically marked out for you. Their race is specifically marked out for them. The methods they use to run their race may not work for you in yours, and that’s OK!
In 1 Samuel 17, as David was about to fight Goliath, King Saul puts his armor on David because he thinks it will help. David, however, is wise enough to recognize that what works for Saul (and what may work for him at a different time) doesn’t work for him right now. Maybe you need to take a page from David’s book and take off something that another person has tried to put on you.
The truth is that David’s victory didn’t come from what he used to fight with. It wasn’t wearing or not wearing Saul’s armor that was the deciding factor. Psalm 75:7 says, “[God] brings one down, he exalts another.” It’s important to remember not only to run your own race but that God is the One who brings promotion and success. Another person’s win is not your loss because it’s not determined by physical factors, like a suit of armor or an algorithm or whatever you think you might need in order to get to the top.
The pressure is taken off when you aren’t looking around you for confirmation, approval, or success. When you aren’t measuring yourself up against anyone else or pitting yourself against anyone, you are free to run your own race at your own pace and experience the joy and freedom that is found right in the middle of your race.
Is there something you’ve picked up from someone else? Perhaps something was placed on you that you need to let go of. What would it look like to see the people around you as those you were running alongside rather than competing against? Take a moment to consider what success looks like to you, even if it might not look like success to anyone else around you.
Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.1 Samuel 17:38-39
It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.Psalm 75:7
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.Galatians 1:10