Our human nature is to be competitive. We want to be better than our neighbor, friend, sister, etc. We feel less than and lacking when someone is better in something than us. We become jealous.
A few weeks ago, I was talking with a young gal who was upset with her brother because he was better at a video game than she was. She was hysterical. It was her video game and she couldn’t handle that he was better than her at it. I took this chance to sit down with her and get to the deeper issue. I asked her what was it that made her so sad when he was better at this video game than her. She said she was jealous. Oh could I relate, I explained to her than I am the youngest in my family and have felt that many times. Then I explained to her that there really isn’t anything to be sad or jealous about. I explained to her that her older brother is only better because he was born two years before her and has had two years more experience than her. I explained that if she were born at the same time she could have been just as good as him. Then I had her brother come in the room and I asked him if he was good at style and he said no and I looked at her and said you are better in that than your brother. I took this chance to explain that God created her with a certain eye and skill for things in life different than her brother. I ended it with explaining to her that she could take this chance to learn from her brother and gain knowledge and experience from him! Her brother accepted happily and they went on to enjoy the day together because she was able to humble herself and learn and he was able to slow down and teach her.
This got me thinking. Lately I have been dealing with feeling less than my brother and sister. I have become really sad and depressed after spending any time with them. I realized that I had a choice on how I was going to let them make me feel. They are very demeaning and critical of my life and I let it get to me so often. I find myself so upset and angry and acting out in different ways. I decided at the end of this past year that I was no longer going to give them this control in my life. I realized that all of their criticism of my life comes from their insecurities and shortcomings in their own lives. I realized that they are competing for status and I am not. They are in the middle of pursuing careers in order to make more money and be known for something more. I am happy for them and think and speak highly of them for their passions and pursuits. I on the other hand am content where I am. I like to say I am “statusfied”. I am not searching for what will give me more meaning in life. I have known for quite some time that where and when I feel the most purpose in life is when I am in the right place at the right time speaking God’s truth to those who haven’t heard or have fallen away from Him. In knowing that this is when and where I find purpose, I recognize that in being a doctor, lawyer, president or whatever I can achieve it doesn’t do justice to being in the dirt and grime of a “less-statused” position and spreading God’s truth and love. I have taken great pride in my Savior’s work through my life, not because I am better than anyone but because God has already been using me and I am experiencing the thrill and joy this life with Him creates.
Now I am not saying that I am perfect and don’t struggle. Oh, do I struggle. I still am overcoming this world and its agenda for my life. I am actively putting my hope and trust in the One who holds this world together. I am experiencing highs and lows. I am passionately failing and seeing God’s light reflecting down on me showing His reconciliation. I am full of feeling and sorting through Godly and ungodly thoughts. Just like the young gal, I am constantly putting down my pride and having to chose to be humble and learn from those older and more experienced than I. The only way I am able to do this though is by being at peace with where I am in life and realizing that life isn’t a competition of who is better than who or becoming something more than someone, it is about realizing God’s place for each of us individually and living in that place, passionately failing. Yes I say that purposefully. We have to realize that we are never succeeding without Christ’s perfection shining on our imperfection.