"Peter turned and saw the follower Jesus loved very much walking behind them. (This was the follower who had leaned against Jesus at the supper and said, 'Lord, who is it that will hand you over?') When Peter saw him behind them, he asked Jesus,'Lord, what about him?'
Jesus answered, 'Maybe I want him to live until I come. That should not matter to you. You follow me!'” John 21:20-22 ERV
This conversation was between the apostle Peter and Jesus. It was in fact the last conversation that he and Jesus had in the book of John.
What I found interesting was that--like today--there was that comparing one thing against another issue going on. That even though Peter was one of Jesus' closest companions, he was still comparing his walk with his friend, John's. Was it jealousy? Was it insecurity? A little of both? After all, he had just denied Jesus three times to the those in the high priest's courtyard. But Jesus had also just entrusted Peter with "His lambs".
How did Jesus handle this? Jesus rebuked him by basically saying, you don't need to worry about John's walk with Me. You need to only worry about your own. You take care of your walk, your relationship with Me. John's and Mine relationship is between us.
How many times do we do that? How many times do we compare our walk with those we observe around us? We see someone that looks like they have it all together with their Master and then we look at ourselves and think, "Wow, I wish that my walk was like that person's". Or it could go the opposite. You observe someone that looks as though they have messed up everything and you think, "I'm so glad that I'm not in that person's shoes. They are really messed up." And in reality, they are not.
I think that there is a double-edged sword to this "keeping up with the Jones" in the spiritual walk category. On one hand, it can inspire you to go the distance. To check and make sure that you are where you should be. It could be used to challenge you. But the down side is that we tend to think that if our walk doesn't seem as secure as the other person's, that ours didn't take. That we have been abandoned by our Heavenly Father. That there is something wrong with us and we haven't made the grade.
Nothing could be farthest from the truth! Our Heavenly Father has a very special walk that is just between you and Him. It is like no other. So, no, you can't and shouldn't compare your walk with anyone else's. For yours is one of a kind. The treasure of a lifetime. You are unique and so is your walk.
So, yes, be constantly making sure that you are in His will. Be looking for ways to be closer to Him and bringing your walk closer. But also, be able to recognize and embrace your uniqueness and the uniqueness of your walk with the Lord.
How do we do that? Get into the Word and prayer. Quiet times with Him in prayer and word daily are more valuable as time go on. As the world gets crazier, those quiet times get more and more precious. My advice--don't slack on them.
Our God is an AWESOME God!
"Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day."
Psalm 139:13-14 MSG