Inspire Part 2
Good Sportsmanship

“One of the marks of excellent people is that they never compare themselves with others. They only compare themselves with themselves and with their past accomplishments and future potential.”    -Brian Tracy

Jim found this quote and read it to me, and I just love it! An athlete with good sportsmanship never compares themselves to others in a negative way. Comparing yourself can be a dangerous thing! If you always compare yourself to people who are better than you, you will start to feel like a failure and lose the confidence that you need in order to become better. If you regularly compare yourself to people who are worse than you, you can become proud and lazy, and start to show unkindness to those around you.

If you really want to be an excellent athlete, you will never ‘compare’ yourself with anyone else. Instead, you will stay focused on YOU. To do this, think about what you have accomplished in the past, and what you want to become in the future. You build your confidence by comparing yourself now with where you were one or two years ago, and realizing how far you have come. You also inspire yourself to keep working hard by looking at where you are right now, and comparing that with where you want to be in one or two years from now. If you regularly do these two things, you will be powered by your own confidence and motivation to be the very best that you can be!

It is also important to God that we focus on improving ourselves and reaching our own potential rather than worrying about what others have or do. In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus tells the parable of a Master who gives each of his three servants a different amount of talents. The master goes away on a trip and then returns to find out what each servant did with his talents. He was very pleased with the servant who started with five talents and worked hard enough to gain five more talents. He was just as pleased with the servant who started with two talents and gained two more talents. But the master was very unhappy with the servant who had one talent and did not work at gaining any more. That servant buried his talent, so when the master returned he still only had one. Perhaps the servant with only one talent spent too much time comparing himself to the other servants and pitied himself for having less talents than they did. Maybe he let himself give up on trying to develop any more talent, because he felt that he could never have as much as the others did. He did not realize that what was important to the master was what he did with what he had  –  not how his final results compared with anyone else’s.

We need to remember that what is important to God is that we do the very best with whatever He has given us. If we work hard and become the very best we can be, that will make God happy. He never compares us to anyone else, because he created us to be unique and special. God is the one who gave you your talent, and when you develop that talent to the highest potential that you have, He is pleased with you and you are pleased with yourself!

Heather Leshovsky