Episode 134 – The Journey Pt 7: Crush the Comparison Game

Key Passage(s): John 21:19-22

Comparison is the fastest way to sabotage the unique path God intends for our lives. It’s so easy to get sucked into thinking, “I’ll never be as_______ as ________.” Before long, we’re chasing someone else’s story rather than our own. But as we’ll see in John 21, each of us has a sacred and holy path to walk, and it’s only when we learn to crush the comparison game and follow Jesus that we’ll find true satisfaction and fulfillment.

Discussion Questions

  • What was your biggest takeaway from the teaching?
  • Describe the you 10 years from now that you want to look ahead to.
  • At one time or another, we’ve all chased someone else’s story rather than our own. Who is one person whose story you’ve chased?
  • What was it about that person’s life that made you chase it the way you did?
  • Name one or two of the mentors/people you’ve mimicked. What was it about them that you mimicked?
  • How do you typically fill the blanks in the following sentence? I’ll never be as________ as ________.
  • How will you begin living out the truths of this teaching this week?
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12 Comments

  1. Sheila August 25, 2021 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Where were all or at least a number of the contextual ways of looking at a text in this presentation? This one left me flat and not because I don’t have this problem.

    • Brad Gray September 1, 2021 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      Hi Sheila, this episode didn’t have as many contextual pieces as other episodes. Sometimes, it’s just a simple observation – like Peter wanting to know what John’s life will look like – that leads you on a path of trying to see yourself in that character’s place and asking why and how we do the same thing. That was the focus of this episode. The comparison game is alive and well, and is derailing so many people’s paths. I know it has been a stumbling block for me in the past, and I felt it was helpful to address in this series. Thanks!

  2. Sharon August 26, 2021 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Wow! I Soo enjoyed this teaching and the use of McConehey(?). Sharing

    • Brad Gray September 1, 2021 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      It was great fun using that illustration 🙂

  3. Nai‘a August 31, 2021 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Aloha e Brad! I had the opportunity to hear from you in Billings, MT, last year, and it has been a joy to learn from Jesus through the Teaching Series. This lesson in particular blessed me very much as I have a fear of failure in comparing myself to my mentors and elders. Mahalo ā nui (big thanks)!

    • Brad Gray September 1, 2021 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      So glad it was helpful to you, Nai’a. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Libby Nelson September 5, 2021 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Brad,

    Just wondering how the pitfall of mimicking someone else rather than using your own voice squares with the concept of trying to be like your rabbi? Where is the line between the two? Or were ancient disciples falling into this trap?

    • Brad Gray September 10, 2021 at 9:18 am - Reply

      Hey Libby, great question. Disciples were encouraged to be like their rabbi, and likely also encouraged to be who God had specifically designed and called them to be. Without question, we’re called to mimic Jesus as disciples of his. What’s more, Paul went so far to say “mimic me as I mimic Christ” in 1 Cor 11:1. His point was that each of us are to mimic the essence of Jesus in such a way that if people mimicked us, they would be mimicking Jesus as a result. But what Paul was not saying was to become just like him, and forfeit what God is uniquely doing in each of our lives. The problem is that we allows ourselves to get off track by mimicking the wrong aspects of other people. That’s more the issue I was addressing in this episode. We want to learn good practices from others, but we don’t need to become them. We need to be who God has designed us to be.

  5. Bob Clark December 6, 2021 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    Brad, This was such a powerful teaching for me. Thank you. At the end you offer the #1 regret: “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” And I suddenly asked myself, is it wrong to replace “others” with “God”? Might being true to myself, with the guidance of scripture and God’s spirit, also be the best path to follow? How do I know what God expects of me without moving forward on this life path he provided with conviction, intent, and faith?

    • Brad Gray December 7, 2021 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      Hey Bob, thank you for your thoughts. If I’m understanding your initial comment, I’m not sure we would want the quote to read “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life God expected of me,” as we obviously want to live a life true to what God expects of us (and I’m guessing that’s what you meant). If not, feel free to clarify. And you’re right in that unless we move forward with conviction, intent, and faith, we won’t know what God wants from us.

  6. Bob Clark December 11, 2021 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Brad, for your response. I know that I can, at times, create or imagine what I think God expects of me, thereby (I think) limiting the potential of the gifts I’ve been given, and the service I might perform in doing God’s work. My “self” seems at times to define who and what God is and what He wants. I’m not comfortable with that. I pray that I can get out of the way (by way of my personal interpretive expectations) and let God work on and direct me without my intruding. How can I know what God wants of me unless I dispense with my personal expectations?

    • Brad Gray December 16, 2021 at 9:57 am - Reply

      Grateful the response was helpful to you, Bob.

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