Comparing and competing

“You are still in Estevan?”

That statement was said with a mixture of amazement and questioning, with the emphasis on the “still” part.

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My college buddy could not believe that I was still here. Since our graduation, he had moved four times, always climbing the ladder to bigger churches. In fact, he has become so well-known that he is now in demand as a speaker at many large events.

Meanwhile, I am still in Estevan. June 4 marked the end of my 30th year here and I could not be happier. I love the people of this congregation so much that they have become like family. I love living in a smaller city where you can not only get to know people well, but you see them often. I love being involved with the speedway and going to Bruin games. I love the fact that I do not have an hour-long commute to work.

From my friend’s perspective, I am sure it seems like I have failed. However, from my perspective, I could not feel more blessed.

So, which one of us made the right choice? Both!

Here is the thing: my life is not diminished by his success. Whether he, or anyone else, gets to do more, see more, or have more does not affect whether my life is good or not. Conversely, my longevity in one community does not make his shorter-term stays look bad. Each of us is doing what we think is best and living out of the blessings that we have been given.

While it is true that comparing and competing with one another can inspire us to be better, sadly, most of the time all it does is discourage us and make us discontent.

Here is the truth: my life is not made better or worse by anything you do or do not do. My life, just like yours, is guided and secured by Christ.

As Jude 24 states, “To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. To God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.”

That is the only measurement that matters.

© Copyright Estevan Mercury


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