Triathlon Lessons: Comparisons

2 Corinthians 10:12 – For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

I’ve been getting into triathlons over the last year. It’s a blast. I have also found there are a lot of life lessons and spiritual applications. Here’s one:

Triathlons are races, and being races there is a competitive element. People talk about where they placed in their age group, if they’ll ever win a race, and how their splits compared with others.

It’s all a foolish thing to do, somewhat. Us amateurs are all so different physically, that a good race for me might be a bad race for a you, or unattainable to someone else. We each start where we are, and become better athletes as we are able. Just finishing a triathlon defines success, along with doing one’s best. I need to measure that success by my capabilities and potential, not yours.

Otherwise I’ll be discouraged, resentful, proud, haughty, or some other unsavory characteristics. Not to mention losing out on the joy of the event.

Likewise, measuring my spirituality by yours is foolishness. You are not my standard. Jesus is. Those who don’t learn this lesson are ever at the mercy of the devil, who loves to show us people better than us, and worse than us for the reasons listed above. Run your own race.

1 Corinthians 9:25 – And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.

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