Role models are so important in our lives. My parents and my grandparents are some of those role models who I aspire to model my life off every day.
Their wisdom and advanced experience in life always challenges me to face the things I am confronted with, with grace, a sound mind, and good judgement. I also know that they will be there to back me up, assist me, pray for me, and encourage me every step of the way.
The Bible says in Proverbs chapter 15 verse 22, ‘Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.’
The importance of role models is not to become like someone else, but to have someone to look up to so you can better yourself and learn from that person. This difference is so important to understand.
Society likes to assert stereotypical expectations onto people, especially those who look to society for guidance. However, there seems to be great confusion between comparison and aspiration.
Where one person likes a certain characteristic about someone else, this may be tainted to be a comparison to that person. This ultimately develops division and competitiveness; to be better than others, not to make oneself better.
This issue of comparison has always been a challenge, especially for females, because for some apparent reason there is this unspoken need to be threatened by one another, even before getting to know them.
I would love to live in a world where comparison is non-existent, where everyone champions each other to do incredible things for God, rather than tearing each other down just to feel better about themselves. Unfortunately, in the world we live today, this is a challenge we must confront.
Why do we compare?
We all have a competitive bone in our bodies, in one way or another. Game nights are amazing for expressing this! But despite the good use for competitiveness, there are dangers of competitive behaviour.
It can be easy to get sucked into the ‘my horse is bigger than your horse’ mindset, which is generally produced by insecurity from someone who feels the need to assert themselves over others. And social media has become an impeccable outlet for competitiveness to grow and disperse.
No one is perfect, we know that, however, to compare ourselves to others is a choice. I am finding that even in my adult years I am facing situations where people are constantly comparing themselves and their situations to mine and those around them. Whilst it is extremely noticeable what they are doing, I find it exhaustingly petty and irritating. Who is it meant to impress?
Galatians chapter one verse ten says, "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."
The best thing I have learnt is to ignore the competitiveness and turn my attention elsewhere, but to also pray for that person and that the spirit of competitiveness be lifted from their hearts. I also pray that they learn to be content in themselves for who they already are and were made to be.
My parents always told me to avoid drama and comparison as much as possible. The moment you involve yourself, you start to lose sight of who you are and who God made you to be.
Competitiveness corrupts the mind and a person’s good character, in which it is hard to relieve yourself from. It is for this very reason I made a deliberate decision in my teenage years not to involve myself in competitive behaviour, but to also notice when that kind of behaviour occurs in others and to remove myself from it.
A competitive culture is not a culture I want to be a part of, because it becomes a culture that can separate friends, family, colleagues and future relationships. James chapter three verse 16 says, “For where envy and self
seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”
I gain nothing by comparing myself or my situations to others. But when I attentively listen and care for others and their lives, I actually become someone who they can trust and who they know will not try to competitively suck their credibility and experiences away from them.
If someone feels the need to prove to others their strength, their abilities, their experiences, or who they are, these aspects are derived from insecurities or a lack of self-confidence and security and are therefore things they firstly need to identify and work on for themselves.
If you are secure in yourself and know who you are and who you are in God, no one else’s comments to assert themselves or to make themselves look better than you can affect you.
Galatians chapter six verse four says, "But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another."
No one else’s comments are able to diminish who you are, unless you let them. Be strong, be content, and be secure in yourself—knowing who you are.
Contentedness also comes in the form of being happy for those who are happy and sad for those who are sad (Romans 12:15), not trying to ‘one-up’ them with your happy or sad story.
One Peter five verse five says, "In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.'"
Let your character show others who you are, not what you have. Jesus did not have to tell others he was the Saviour of the world. In fact, the Bible says, in Isaiah chapter 53 verse two, ‘For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.’
He was undesirable, and there was nothing special about Jesus’ appearance, but people followed him because they were drawn to him, because he loved without wanting, and he cared for everyone—no matter their differences.
Imagine being so confident in yourself that people are just drawn to who you are because you know who you are, and you don’t need affirmation from others to qualify you as a great individual.
We should always aspire to be like Jesus, for he is the ultimate role model. Every single day, we should be asking ourselves, ‘How can I be more like Jesus today?’ We are in no way trying to become Jesus (that would be blasphemous), however, we are looking to Jesus’ example as a way to better ourselves to the highest standard we can.
One Corinthians 11 verse one says, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”
So, friend, if you are battling with the spirit of competitiveness or are victim to a person’s competitive nature, God sees it all. We can all be challenged by this.
Pray and cast out the competitive spirit. May it no longer have a hold.
Cartia Moore is a sword fighter, trained and skilled in the art of fencing. She has recently graduated from her Bachelor of Arts degree and has completed an Honours in Screen & Media Studies. She is now going on to do a Master of Teaching (Secondary), focusing in the teaching areas of English and Film studies. She is passionate and driven to inspire and encourage others to seek and find their worth and value in Him.
Cartia Moore’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cartia-moore.html