“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” — Philippians 2:3-4
As Christians, we are not called to chase after the things of this world. Instead, we are called to chase after the heart of God, while placing others ahead of ourselves. One way we can do this is by living a life of contentment rather than one full of comparison.
A pastor friend once explained it like this: Essentially, God has given us a car unique to us, a lane that’s designed specifically for us to drive in, and a specific journey for us to travel. Everyone has their own path according to God’s divine plans.
When we start glancing over at the car in the next lane and trying to drive in someone else’s lane, we’ll crash. But if we stay in our lane, focus on operating our car and navigating our own journey, we’ll arrive where God has designed us to go.
One of the best examples of someone doing this and living out a life of contentment is Dayton Moore, the former general manager of the Kansas City Royals. He entered the major leagues in 1994 as a scout for the Atlanta Braves and was with them through their run of success in the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, which included a World Series championship in 1995 and 11 straight National League East championships from 1995-2005. He rose up the ranks to become the assistant general manager for the Braves, and after all the success in Atlanta, several organizations wanted to hire him as their general manager.
He was content in Atlanta, though. He and his wife had a community of friends, they were involved in their church, and he felt like he was part of the succession plan for when the Braves were to make a change at GM. Every organization that called got the same message from him: “Thanks, but no thanks.” The Royals were his childhood team, and even when they came knocking on his door, he was prepared to tell them he was staying in Atlanta.
Moore was genuinely happy and didn’t feel like another team’s logo on his shirt would make him any happier. It took an offer and an opportunity he couldn’t refuse to work with people he really respected for him to finally leave. It helped that it was with his childhood team, but even then, the team’s ownership had to pry him away.
We can learn a lot from Moore. There will be times when God is opening a door for us to enter into a great opportunity with faith instead of fear. We must have discernment to know if that is truly a calling from God or just something the enemy is tempting us with to distract us from where God truly wants us.
But Moore knew his strengths and was content to run his own race in his own lane.
“Just be the best you can be at the job that you’re being asked to do,” Moore said on the “Get in the Game” podcast with Scott Linebrink in May 2021. “I go back to one of the principles my father taught me. He said, ‘Son, work every job you have like it’s the last one you’ll ever have. If you do that, chances are it probably won’t be, and there will be more opportunity for you.’”
He was letting the needs of the organization guide his path instead of his desires, he said. He was putting others first (Philippians 2:3-4).
“Don’t want anyone else’s job,” he said. “Be the best you can be at the job they’re asking you to do.”
The truth is so many of us struggle with comparison and the ability to be content, and we’re afraid to talk about it because it feels like an embarrassing insecurity. Many of us, when put in Moore’s situation, would take the first call we received for a promotion because we believe that our job title equates with our self-worth, or the number in our bank account determines our value as a person.
Yet even as Moore watched his peers climb through the ranks, he didn’t let that dictate where he felt God was calling him to be and what God was calling Him to do.
The only way to put a stop to this exhausting chase of comparison is to give it to God and seek contentment in what we have and who we are.
— Cole Claybourn
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