I can only imagine that most everyone has heard the phrase “keeping up with the Jones”. We all know someone who attained something in life that is a little better, little shiner, or a little bigger than what we have. And we compare ourselves to them and wonder why we have not attained that level of greatness or status in society. STOP!!! It’s a trap. Our society tries to have a voice in every area of our life.
Women are constantly bombarded with images of what they should look like. They are told in order to be successful they must wear these clothes and wear this make up and the list goes on and on. Commercials target our children telling them what designer jeans to wear, what video games they should purchase, and who they should date. Men are shown extremely buff images of body builders surrounded by beautiful women with the implication that if you want to be surrounded by beautiful women you must look like this. In all the above listed examples we see how we are inundated with mental images of what we are suppose to be. We are told what we are to compare ourselves to.
There is a balance when it comes to comparison in our lives. Not all comparison is bad. Leaders, in order to lead well there must be constant growth in our lives. In order to do that, it can be helpful to compare where we are to those who have attained the results we want and make adjustments accordingly. But most people don’t stop at adjustments that help them improve. Most people continue down a path of trying to be just like the one they are comparing themselves to. This is where the problem lies. When individuals do this, they become carbon copies, not individual leaders leading. We get to the place where we are consumed with being a duplicate instead of an original.
I can see this in my own life from time to time. I like to read and love to see what God is doing in bigger churches. I have modeled several things in the worship team I lead after another church model, but not everything I have seen. It would be easy to say so and so church does it this way and if I don’t follow it to the letter then I’m not doing it right. I have also looked at other Pastors who are younger than me and look at their kingdom accomplishments and wonder to myself “hmm”. They have a 10,000 plus member church, I wonder why I haven’t achieved something like this. It would become so easy to become wrapped up in a thought process like this. But how does that benefit you or me? Sure I can read their book and take away some of their processes, but in the end I have be the Leader God has called me to be.
So As a Leader, Is it ok to compare? Yes! Compare but don’t become a duplicate. I have heard over the years to duplicate yourself. What I hope I have done as a Leader is given a blueprint or outline to those I Lead to compare to. I hope that they take away ideas and principles to grow as young leaders. I don’t want those I lead to be just like me. I want them to take notes compare and become the best unique Leader they can be.
So, What do I hope that you take away from this? I hope that you understand that comparison is good for getting ideas. Don’t fall in the comparison trap though! Be yourself . Grow from looking at what others have done. Take away the things that help you grow and make them yours, not a carbon copy of someone else. You are a unique leader and have things to offer without being a duplicate. What are your thoughts about comparison?