The Danger of Comparison

I walked into the gym Saturday morning and got ready to do my cardio for the weekend. At about 7:30 in the morning on a Saturday, there are very few people there. (I hope I didn't just give away a huge secret.) There were only two other people in the room, so I got down to work.

Combine fibromyalgia and asthma, and I don't go very quickly on a treadmill. It felt wonderful, though, to have as much time as I wanted to just walk, think and talk with the Lord. I also had time to just let my mind go numb and not think about anything for a while.

That's when I noticed the woman beside me. She was older than me and shorter than me - and she was going much, much faster than me. Suddenly, I started thinking that I could probably go a little faster, just so I wouldn't look like a tortoise next to her hare.

As my hand was reaching for the speed button, I realized what I was doing. I was comparing my own performance with someone I don't even know. I just knew she was doing something that I would love to be doing - if I wouldn't die for lack of oxygen, even with my inhaler nearby.

I have no idea how long it took for her to work up to her running pace. I don't know how hard she's worked or how many hours of puffing and panting she's put in to be able to make her body go faster than mine. The only thing I know is what I could see.

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves, and comparing among themselves, are not wise. But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. 2 Corinthians 10:13-14

Instead of looking at someone else's physical performance, my time would be better spent planning my own workout routine and diet. Instead of looking at another woman's spiritual maturity and wishing I was that close to God, I should be spending my time in Bible study and prayer. And instead of beating myself up for shortcomings and failures that no one else seems to be having, I can wake up tomorrow and know that God's mercies will be new and plentiful.

So I didn't change my treadmill speed. I continued on at my pace - the pace that keeps my asthma and my fibromyalgia at bay. And when I got done, I felt a strength and peace that I haven't felt in a while Those are the types of blessings that God gives us when we're focused on Him and not those around us.

We'll see if I can up my speed a notch or two next week.

We'll see.


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