Stop Competing

July 25, 2021

Galatians 6.4-10      

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

It is so easy to get into the mode of comparisons.  We are in a window of days when we can see comparisons of nations and athletes at the Olympics.  On the first day already I heard the US broadcasters mention that the Netherlands has the tallest average height of people as they explained why their beach volleyball team was beaten by the Dutch guys.  Not taking sides as much as showing how quickly we find different ways of comparing.

Olympics are obviously meant to be a competition and comparison becomes part of it.  But real life is not like that part of sport.  Real life is not about who is taller or faster.  It is not all about who is smarter and stronger.  Life is about doing good for others and doing good for God.  And getting rid of the comparisons, it does us well to remember the statement from Brené Brown.  We have to see that what people are doing right now is the best they can with what they have.

That looks at what the other is doing.  The question can also be turned back to ourselves.  Are we doing the best we can with what we have?  And I think most of us are getting to the point of saying we are doing the best we can more often than we were.  I know I can look back at years when I was young and I did not do what I could or should.  I could look at the past week and see moments when I didn’t live life the best way I could or do the best I could with what I have.  Not where I was, but not yet where I will be.

We hear Paul telling us that we are to keep at the work of doing good for others and for God.  We are to keep at it and we will see some of those results.  And let’s hope that the comments of others about us that we are doing the best we can, can be heard as encouragement, not a condescending remark.  And as we love others and do good for them, the best they do with us with what they have will be more than enough.

SongLove God, Love People

Prayer

O risen Christ, you made yourself known to the disciples in the breaking of the bread at Emmaus; through our sharing in the bread of life in our many Christian communions, open our eyes and hands to the needs of all people.  Let our hearts burn to share your gifts and help us to go forth with one another with bread: bread of hope, bread of life, bread of peace.  Amen.

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