If you've been on the internet – at all, anywhere – in the past six months, then you've seen this quote. A lot of people are talking about it, making prints about it, and blogging about it, and that's because it's true. There is nothing that has the potential to steal your joy faster than seeing someone who's doing something better than you.
That's the most obvious case, though. You know, seeing a photographer who's taking the photos you want to take, a blogger with ridiculously high traffic, a writer with a successful book.
But there's something surprising about comparison: it works the other way, too.
Because if you're comforting yourself with the fact that you're doing better than a lot of other people, you're kind of missing the point.
If you're motivated by staying one step ahead of everyone else, instead of by doing what you're doing because that's what you do when He's given you a gift, then your joy will be short-lived.
The joy that lasts comes in the obedience, in the fellowship you find when you take what He's given you and do the best you can with it.
Any enjoyment that comes in beating someone else will be lost when someone else beats you.