Sometimes when we view other people’s lives, we judge them.

Sometimes when we look at other people’s lives we view them as having arrived. They have achieved.

But what pitiful sentiment. To think that a human being can arrive to their choicest self (at least here on earth). Perhaps they have gained accolades and accomplished amazing feats. Perhaps they have climbed the corporate ladder and made their bosses proud. Maybe still these achievers have crammed much life and prosperity into a few short years.

Who says they have arrived? According to what benchmark? By what are we measuring success? By outward accomplishments and the respect of peers?

To assume this, we would need to measure everyone by the same metrics—but which one? Whose metrics are correct? Is the artist that paints because they love to any less successful because they cannot monetize what they love?

I think this mindset of arriving, of collecting achievements has done damage to our spiritual lives. Though in many fields, and in our capitalistic world, success is borne of competition and outward achievements, it is not so in spirituality. This, I can assure you of.

Spirituality, or our relationship with God, has never been, nor ever will be a competition. It has and always will be an individual and their connection to God. The Bible days by their fruits you shall know them—not by their positions or how many sermons they preach or the many times they have read the Bible.

There is no metric to measure a person’s spiritual life except that of Scripture. Yes, the Bible does tell us that by their fruits you shall know them. I would like to point out, it does not say their works. And fruit takes time. The fruit of the spirit is not detailed as positions or achievements, but aspects of the heart. And Scripture also tells us, that we humans only see the outside, while it is God who sees the heart.

So as you go about your Christian walk, remember: whatever you achieve outwardly, this is not a competition. If your only achievements and accolades are those fragrant Master-planted plants that grow in your heart, then that is enough.