Ever get tired of trying to keep up?
With the latest craze on social media, with your peers, with the expectations of parents, coaches, and fans?
It’s exhausting, and if we’re honest, it can feel like what we do is never enough.
We can get stuck on a wheel of comparison that is constantly turning but never moves in any direction. It keeps us stuck in a frantic mindset of never measuring up, and soon enough, we’re ruled by it. And soon after that, we’re left feeling as if we’re never enough.
There is another way of living that trades in the hustle of comparison and sets us securely in a peaceful place. It’s rooted not in what we do, but Whose we are. Our worth doesn’t come from a scoreboard or record book, nor does it come from the applause or critique of others.
Want to rid yourself of the striving and dissatisfaction? Root yourself in the truth of God and who you are as His child.
Jesus came for our good, by way of the cross. God is our Creator and Father, and when He made us, He made us in His image. If we pause right there, this is enough of a pivot point for how we see ourselves.
“See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children — and we are!” (1 John 3:1).
The Father has given us His goodness through the saving grace of His Son, Jesus. And not only did Jesus come to save, He enabled us to have a deep and personal relationship with our Father. It’s easy for us to allow our lives to get wrapped up in sports, but there is much more to our existence than what takes place during competition. A greater life is found in God through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus gives us:
Joy is greater than happiness. It’s a state of contentment in all things, the good times and the bad, that only greater life in Christ can bring. Knowing we have eternal life with our Father enables us to go through hard times leaning on the knowledge of Who is walking with us.
“You reveal the path of life to me; in your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures” (Psalm 16:11).
Peace is hard to come by inside the performance trap. But God’s peace will overcome all your fears and anxieties because that’s what a good Father does.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
There’s more to life than awards, achievements, or material gain that comes through competition or a career. God’s purpose is life-giving and life-changing, and better than anything we could come up with on our own.
“However, I have let you live for this purpose: to show you my power and to make my name known on the whole earth” (Exodus 9:16).
Our identity as God’s children, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, allows us to operate in a different way of life than when we were scraping by and chasing after the approval of others. We could never be satisfied comparing ourselves to our teammates, other coaches, or other athletes.
There is a greater peace that frees you from the internal and external pressure of competing. The comparison game is exhausting; rest in being rooted as a child of God through Christ. From there, we can compete out of the overflow of what’s already firmly established inside us.
“A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance” (John 10:10).
Stop trying to be someone else when God has made you exactly as you are for a good purpose. Believe this. The only approval you need is God’s, and through Christ, you already have it.
Let’s lean into the abundant life Jesus has for us and live confidently in our place as God’s children. Nothing can change or take that truth away.
Sarah Freymuth is the Communications Manager for Fellowship of Christian Athletes and writes content for blogs, articles, Bible reading plans and devotionals that share God's heart with coaches and athletes. She played softball for Concordia University Wisconsin, is in their Hall of Fame, and has led FCA Huddles since high school.