From Cec Murphy--
I spoke with a writer I've known slightly for more than two decades.
Back then he had written two books that sold well. When I read his
material, I decided he was a much better writer and I'd probably
never be as good as he was.
When we talked recently, he said, "I wish I could write as well as
When I told him about my comparison (and also that I was a little
jealous), we both laughed.
I learned something significant from that interchange. When we
compare ourselves to others, we experience negative feelings, and in
my case, years ago jealousy. Other emotions arise such as insecurity
and a sense of unworthiness. We focus on what we're not instead of
who we are. As long as we feel the need to compare, we can't win.
We'll constantly see someone who is more talented, achieves more,
gets better breaks, or is better qualified. (Some people compare
themselves and feel superior, but that's not my experience.)
A few years ago I decided not to focus on others' achievements but on
my own. I can be only me, and my task is to be the best Cec Murphey I
can. Some people are more gifted than I am; some are less gifted. My
responsibility is to be faithful to who I am and what I can do.
I thought of the words of Jesus to Peter. In the final chapter of
John's Gospel, Jesus tells Peter how he will die. Instead of focusing
on himself, Peter points to John and asks, "What about him?"
"What is that to you? You must follow me," Jesus says. (John 21:22
Here's the practical thing I've done. I pray for those of whom I'm
tempted to feel jealous. I ask God to bless them as richly as
possible. Their success has no bearing on my achievements. The more I
champion others, the less I need to compare and the greater my level
of inner peace.
Visit Cec at www.cecilmurphy.com