Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dangerous Comparisons and Seeds of Doubt

The summer Olympics have come and gone for another year, leaving behind a collection of triumphs, track records and thrilling defeats. Did you count the medals won by your country’s Olympians? Did you cheer for your favorite competitor, or cry when they went home empty-handed? And did you revel in the glory that is the Olympic games?

Well, you certainly weren’t alone. Millions upon millions of people watched, heard or read about the London 2012 games in the last few weeks. Striving for the gold, hundreds of Olympians gave their best, and only a select few went home with medals.

Thanks for the pic - sxc/mzacha


I got to thinking about comparisons, and how we can quickly exhaust ourselves running in our own Olympiad, striving for some recognition or a physical token to signify victory over others in the same race.

Athletes do it. Writers do it. Pastors do it. Corporate professionals do it. Moms do it. Kids do it.

We compare our appearances, homes, work and accomplishments to others, feeling a sense of pride when we’re pulling ahead and the weight of shame or disappointment when we fall behind.

Do you think true Olympians do that? Can you imagine a trained, dedicated sportsman or woman curling their top lip in disgust at the gold medalist?

Comparisons drive competitive people forward, and fuel the fires of refinement in some. But in countless others, comparisons lead to doubt and even despair.

"If that other competitor is claiming a medal when I’m still rounding the last corner, I must be unworthy of the race." Or "I’ll never make it to the podium, no matter how hard I try."

How Does God See You?

Olympic viewers understand that it requires determination, training and dedication to even make it to the games. Nations are thrilled to put together a team of qualified athletes, proudly bearing the flag and representing personal and national hopes and dreams in competition.

I wonder if God sees us that way. Getting involved in His plan and stepping into the role He shaped for you takes determination, training and dedication. It also takes prayer, humility and faith. Do you wonder if the Lord Jesus and His Father are watching us, cheering for us all the way and swelling with pride simply because we made it to the games? Because we stepped onto the track of His will and are committed to finishing the race?

Instead of holding up the Father’s plan by comparing ourselves with other racers, why not push ahead, work our muscles and strive for His glory, no matter where we may finish in the medal standings?

It’s natural for us to recognize the fastest, strongest and brightest with shiny medals, yet I can’t help but wonder whether God skips that entire ceremony in real life, preferring to spend His time cheering on His children.

Hebrews 12:1a-2b

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Keep pushing and keep running your race. Ignore the frontrunners and put aside those discouraging comparisons. When you’re on God’s team you’ve already made it to the Olympic games.

Cheering You On,


  1. YES! Great analogy, and encouragement. Thanks, Di!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Diana!



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