I am certain I am not the only naturally competitive person out there in this world, so for those who are I am sure they will understand it when I say that anything I approach or start are always done with a challenge to do it to the best of my ability and to persevere until I succeed, hopefully somewhere in the front if I can.
I will never forget my first year I decided to study some theology subjects as a hobby. After I received feedback for my first assignment I was on the phone to the subject teacher trying to find out how my results compared with the rest of the people who have submitted this assignment. I know, I know, very embarrassing but I didn’t think so at that stage. The theology teacher didn’t know what I was talking about and after explaining nicely to him that surely everyone wants to know roughly how they are doing compared to others, he then, in the same way, tried to explain to me that this is not how it is done in this college and that it is more important how we progress on our own. Honestly, these are very difficult concepts for me to understand especially since I have always been in some kind of environment where only the best person wins.
Our spiritual maturity journey is exactly the same. Each of us who have decided to make Christianity not just a religion but a journey in which we commit our whole life run a race with others, however there is a difference to this race because the challenge is not against those running with us but rather against ourselves. We all can be a winner in God’s eyes if we do the best within our capabilities.
Remember the parable that Jesus told about the talents (Matthew 25:14-30)? The servants each received a different number of talents and afterwards the master praised every one of the servants who diligently worked to make a return on their investment. To the master it didn’t matter how many they had or increased with. It was more important that they focused on improving on what they had.
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
For Christ it is exactly the same. When we are on our journey towards Christ-likeness we will meet many fellow racers that are far more mature than us and even some that would seem to grow faster than ourselves, but it is then that we need to remember that when we stand before Christ one day he will measure us each individually against our commitment to learn and to grow and to what extent we used those talents to glorify God in our daily lives.
“God is far more concerned that we are facing the cross and moving towards it, than how far or how close we are standing to it” – Graeme Codrington.