It’s human nature and the nature of leadership to compare ourselves to other leaders. We plop ourselves on the proverbial scales and see how we measure up. The problem is, we’re never comparing apples to apples. And the bigger problem is, God doesn’t recommend it. Fortunately, He provides ample truth and wisdom to help us stay off the comparison scales.
I remember watching people romp on the comparison scales at my first leadership conference. As we ate dinner together, they casually hinted at the scope of their ministries, the size of their budgets, and how many people they served. Our ministry hadn’t opened yet, so I had nothing to share – otherwise I’m sure I would’ve joined in the one-upmanship. I know this, because I’ve done it!
As all of this jockeying is going on, an undercurrent of thought goes like this: Hmmm… they’re really good at reaching college students. What’s wrong with us? Or: Wow, I can’t believe they haven’t put more emphasis on targeting abortion-determined women. Don’t they realize that’s key? Or: He’s up on every cultural trend that impacts our ministries. Why aren’t I? Or: I’m glad I’ve learned to build more margin into my schedule than she has. She’s going to implode!
Did you catch what happened throughout that paragraph? With every comparison, you’re either superior or inferior. But Paul says in Galatians 6:4, Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.
1) Pride. Let’s call it what it is. When we weigh ourselves against another to inflate ourselves, it’s prideful and it’s an attempt to take credit from God. But everything good that’s happening through our lives is a gift from Him.
2) Inferiority. This is equally damaging. When we lose confidence because we don’t measure up to someone else, we’re drinking from a poisonous well. We’re diminished by another’s accomplishments instead of delighting in the greatness of who God is and who we are in Him.
1) Have a Spirit-led focus. Let the plumb line of God’s Word and the leading of His Spirit set the course for your ministry and the priorities you put your hand to. It’s enlightening to learn how others are doing ministry, but you still want to follow your Lead Teacher.
2) Remember your uniqueness. God crafted you in His image to reflect facets of His nature and character. He gave you your own personality, calling, gifting, and skill set – and it’s different from anyone else’s. Being who God designed you to be is the best way to radiate God.
“Being who God designed you to be is the best way to radiate God.”- Lisa Hosler
When leaders stay off the comparison scales, they can both excel at what they’re called to do and revel in others’ successes. As each leader does this, it’s as though he’s a carefully-cut shard of glass in God’s hand, bonded alongside of others to form a stained glass masterpiece. Instead of comparing ourselves to each other, we can enjoy the striking contrast of shapes and colors throughout – and God’s character shines through in all of its multifaceted beauty.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor (Isaiah 61:3b).
How has God helped you avoid comparisons? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.