‘Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn.”’ Genesis 27:19 NIV
Ever found yourself in competition with a friend or family member? In the Bible, we read about the brothers Esau and Jacob. Their parents had favourites. Isaac preferred the eldest son, Esau, while Rebekah preferred her second child Jacob. This favouritism may have been what started the competition between the brothers. Or maybe Jacob simply didn’t like being the youngest. In those days, the eldest received a special blessing and had rights that the younger son didn’t get. Jacob, along with his mother Rebekah, decided to plot against Esau and tricked Isaac into blessing him instead. The Bible tells us that ‘Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn”’ (you can read the full story in Genesis 27). The competition in this family didn’t stop there. Jacob later married two sisters: Leah and Rachel. He loved Rachel more and Leah resented her for that. Leah could have children while Rachel couldn’t, which caused Rachel to resent Leah. Both competed against each other. Leah tried to win Jacob’s love while Rachel tried to have children to keep up with Leah. When competition and comparison takes root, we lose focus of who God has created us to be and things He’s planned for us to do. It can lead to messy situations and a breakdown in relationships. Maybe there isn’t someone who we’re directly competing with, but there are posts on social media which make us feel inadequate and we try and change our behaviour to keep up with others. Maybe we only feel good about ourselves when we’re achieving more than other people. Instead of competing and comparing, we need to be confident in our identity as children of God, and focus on doing the things He’s called us to do.