We have a habit of comparing ourselves to others, even in the church. Those with positions and titles may be esteemed by those of us that sit in anonymity. There is a warranted degree of respect for leadership. Even so, they are called and specifically equipped by God, same as you and me.
This habit of comparing ourselves to others happens everywhere: in the job, in housing, in vehicles, in the clothes we wear. The term celebrity is a derivative of celebrate – where we esteem and hold others in high regard (despite obvious lack of qualifications to be esteemed). We agree: we cannot play golf like Tiger Woods, sing like Celine Dion, or be a lead actor like Dustin Hoffman.
The tendency to compare ourselves to others can be a dangerous and dysfunctional game of one-upmanship. For individuals, it can stifle our own development and growth. We may choose to throw in the towel rather than compete.
God created you to be you, and He created me to be me. Our life trajectories, talents, giftings, personalities, and relationships will not be the same. The path God laid out before you will look different than the path He laid out before me. Comparing the two is no more productive than comparing watermelons to cabbage.
We recognize we are not doing/talking/living like so-and-so person, so we must be doing it wrong. In terms of fulfilling our God-given destinies, it simply isn’t true. If I desire to preach like Billy Graham, I am going to be frustrated and disappointed. So will anyone that has to suffer through my attempts. (By the way, Billy Graham had a different life plan too: his original dream was to play professional baseball but he eventually realized he didn’t have the talent.)
Consider the differences between Paul and Peter in the New Testament. They were each equipped with specific backgrounds, gifts and personalities to reach different groups of people; both actively obeying the commandment of Jesus to tell everyone the gospel story. Both men were needed to advance the kingdom (as were many others).
To insist our lives and paths should look just like everyone else’s is to deny what God prepared for us to walk out. It is as pointless as a bird wanting to be a fish. No matter how much willpower and effort it applies, a bird will never be a fish. And neither of them can be a porcupine.
We are disciplined and discipled within the body of Christ for the same purpose: to bring glory to God; but by different paths and experiences. In the safety of God’s instruction and guidance, we should be free to mature into that rarest of creatures: the unencumbered and redeemed child of the Father, uniquely crafted to worship and praise Him in the special gifts He gave us.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:4-8