The Comparison Game

My eleven year old son loves chess. He studies chess books, writes down moves, and practices against the computer. . .all because he wants to win.

Several of you mentioned yesterday that you enter writing contests to win. If we're perfectly honest, we all want to come out on top, at some point.

If you read Christina Berry's comment from yesterday, you'll see she won second place in the Genesis contest last year and got her first book contract as a result. Wouldn't that be a dream come true?

We're playing the comparison game to win. And yet when we compare, I've noticed we often react one of two ways:

1. Why can't I write like this? We look at what we write and wonder if we should pack up the laptop. Discouragement.

2. Wow, I can do better than this. We wonder how the author got published in the first place. Pride.

There are many writers on the path and new ones joining the journey every day. Some will be further ahead and some will lag behind, racing to catch up. Others will be very near us.

As we trek along, sometimes we start to think we're further along than we really are. Or maybe we don't give ourselves enough credit for how far we've come. We stumble into the subjective traps of discouragement or pride. We become enmeshed with our stories and have a difficult time separating from them and looking at them objectively.

I tend to fall into the trap of pride. It's easier for me to see the faults in the writing of others more often than I see them in my own. It's something I really struggle with.

Which subjective trap do you fall into? Do you find yourself more critical of others? Or are you too critical of yourself?

As we play the comparison game, here's something practical we can do:
Encourage one another and build each other up. 1Thes. 5:11

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