Comparing and Competing

Sarah Ball Advisors & Student Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development 1 Comment

Something that I’ve noticed lately is how fascinated we are with talking about our personality types. Everyone asks each other whether they are an introvert or an extrovert, a thinker or a feeler. And if you don’t know, then you’re supposed to go online and take a free test to figure out how your mind works.

The last time I took the test was a few months ago and I turned out to be an ENTJ. So that makes me extroverted, intuitive, a thinker, and a judger, or what 16 Personalities likes to call it, “The Executive.” After you get your results there are pages upon pages of explanation of your personality type, how common it is or isn’t, and how it relates to other personalities.

I find that we tend to compare our personalities with each other. We like to see the differences between us, and then determine if one personality trait is “better” than the other. Comparison is something that has exploded throughout our generation as millennials. We compare personalities, we compare our Instagram profiles, and we compare ourselves to impossible standards portrayed through media exposure.

I find myself comparing all of the time. I compared myself to other women I would see on social media, and to other people’s lives and how great they were compared to mine. It came to a point where I had to delete my social media pages because I became consumed in measuring up to the standards set before me on my iPhone.

And then I had a thought, how is it possible to compare two people who are uniquely made?

If we look at the definition of the word compare we see it defined as, “to represent as similar.” We are not able to live in this unhealthy mindset of comparison because we were not made to be compared with each other. We are each uniquely designed and created by God for a purpose that is set apart from all else, we are not similar.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mothers womb.” We were uniquely created by God, not carbon copies printed out designed to be compared to each other. We are God’s special possession, something to be cherished.

I love Lisa Bevere and her book, Without Rival. It really takes this idea of comparison and being made unique to a new level of understanding.

She says,

“God uniquely created your DNA and knit your frame in secret so he could surprise the world. He authored how your heart expresses itself; he was the architect of your smile and the melody of your voice; he made all of your features with the fondest thoughts of only you in mind. He celebrated along with your parents your first smile and watched with affection your first steps.”

I love her wording and her explanation throughout this section in her book. We are unique and complex creations. We look different, sound different, are gifted differently, we like and dislike different things. We were created this way to celebrate the differences and uniqueness, not compare them and decide who is better than who.

Often, especially on social media, when you’re comparing yourself with others, you’re comparing their highlights to your behind-the-scenes. Not only are we unable to compare because of the fact that we are unique, but we are unable to compare because of the fact that what we see on social media is not real. It’s edited, fabricated, and embellished from the truth. 

When we change our mindset and outlook on comparison we are no longer insecure, we have less doubt, and we are able to live life freely and more enjoyably. We are able to stop competing with each other and begin to encourage and lift up others. 

Stop Comparing. Stop Competing. Be Unique.


About the Author

Sarah Ball

Sarah Ball graduated from Elim Bible Institute and College with a degree in Theological and Biblical Studies with a focus in ministry. It was at Elim where Sarah knew she had a passion for ministry and college students through the exposure of BASIC. In June of 2017 Sarah joined on staff with BASIC along with her husband, Elijah.

Purpose Through Passion

Purpose Through Passion

Sam DiStefano Advisors & Student Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development, Resources 0 Comments

One of our desires at BASIC is to be relevant and connect you with content that is going to best help you as you serve your campus and ministry context! In an effort to bring in fresh perspective and new ideas, we have asked a few student leaders and advisors to share their voice! We’ll get to hear from one of them each month. This week, we have the honor of hearing from Kaitlyn Puukila.

Kaitlyn PuukilaHey guys! My name is Kaitlyn and I am a recent graduate from the University at Albany, where I served as BASIC President for 2 years. Although it came with some challenges, I loved every second of it and have seen God do some amazing things through BASIC. Now that I have joined the world of jobs and bills, I am SO excited to be here to share just a few thoughts with you, in hopes of giving you some encouragement… so please read on!

“The word passion comes from the Latin root pati-, meaning suffering, or enduring. Passion is, at its core, a form of pain that demands it be quenched.”

–Vivek Haldar

 Passion is one of God’s greatest creations, and is what helps us make a difference in the world. Passion is what drives a soldier to defend his country, or a man to protect his family. Passion takes away the fear and creates courage when you need to start a new chapter in your life. Passion is the verb that drives you to do things that you wouldn’t normally do.

So what are you passionate about? Is it dancing, singing or writing? Do you love animals or learning about new cultures? Do you have a passion for leading on your college campus? 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s very grace.” But where to start? I have a gift and a passion, but how do I use it in my daily life to serve and bless God? 

The Bible says in Psalm 37:4, “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desire of your heart.” Did you know that not only does God want to give us the desires of our hearts, but He’s the one who put them there? When we get to know God’s character and who He is, that’s when the desires of His heart become our own. Don’t get me wrong, it would be pretty sweet (pun very much intended) to say “please” and get giant bowl of ice-cream anytime I desired it. But what does passion have to do with knowing God?

When we start to desire the things God desires like love, joy, peace, forgiveness, and wisdom, that’s when God can use you no matter what you’re doing. Think of it this way, if God can use us when we have nothing to offer, imagine how much more we can be used when we ask Him to work through us in part of our lives where He’s created us to be passionate! Not only can He use us, but it brings Him joy to see us want to know Him better and use the gifts He’s given us.

So if we were made to be passionate, then why do we sometimes feel like we need to give up on the things we love in order to be a “good Christian”? Our culture wants to put God in a box, so it’s easy to start thinking He can only work through us when we are in church, at a bible study, or at our Basic groups where people already know about God. That is far from the truth though, and in fact quite the opposite. When we have a heart to serve, it’s not about leaving behind things we are passionate about. It’s about letting God be a part of those things and allowing Him to use your passion to speak to and love on people.

If you’re not sure what you’re passionate about, that’s okay! Take time to learn about yourself and ask God to reveal your passions to you. This site here is a great resource to do just that. God is not limited by your daily routine or by your adventurous lifestyle. There are no boundaries to how He can use you. All He requires is your willingness and a desire to know His heart, and that’s when you will begin to walk out your purpose through your passions.

About the Author

Sam DiStefano


Sam DiStefano went to school at SUNY Geneseo and earned a degree in Childhood with Special Education. It was at college, through BASIC, that she learned what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus. In June 2014, she joined on staff with BASIC and planted a chapter at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY that fall. BASIC has deeply affected Sam’s life and she feels called to help other students experience freedom and hope in Christ.

Learning More About Your Leadership Team

Learning About Your Leadership Team

Chris Zeigler Advisors & Student Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development, Resources 0 Comments

Sometimes working on a team can be hard. When a group of people who have different ways of thinking and different personalities try to come together the result can be messy at times. But what if your team had a better understanding of how and why each person operates the way they do?

If you’ve ever thought things like, “why does John respond that way when I try to encourage him?” or “why can’t everyone just see the value of my ideas?” then a personality workshop could be perfect for you and your team. Back in January our staff participated in a personality workshop held by life coach Cindy Scott.

Cindy is an amazing leader who God has given great insight into how we’re wired and how we can work better together. God designed us all to be different. Often we see the way people differ from us as a negative instead of a positive. Or, on the other hand, we hold others in such a high regard that we try to be more like them instead of being who God created us to be.

It is so important for us to learn why God has created each person so unique and when we learn more about the unique ways He created us it also helps us better determine the purposes and callings He has for our lives. One thing Cindy said that stood out to me is that when you try to be someone you’re not it’s just as awkward as trying to write with the opposite hand.

As Cindy talked us through the different personality types and determining which personality traits each one of us has, it helped us start to better understand ourselves and each other. Not only was it helpful in improving how we work together, but it also helped us become more aware of ourselves and why we do what we do.

I’d encourage you to contact Cindy and plan a personality workshop for your team. She can do them in person or online via video conferencing. She has some other great resources as well like her Soul Care and Life on Purpose workshops. You can find out more information and get in touch with her by visiting her website.

I’m also excited that Cindy will be one of our speakers for BASIC Live this year. Cindy did a session a number of years back at one of our leadership events and everyone raved about it. For BASIC Live she’s going to do two teachings. One will teach us coaching techniques and the other will cover her Destiny By Design series. If you’re not familiar with BASIC Live, it’s our free leadership training event that is streamed online. You can go here to find out more information and get signed up.

I’m excited to hear all that God does as you take steps to learn more about yourself and the leaders He’s given you!


About the Author

Chris Zeigler


Chris Zeigler is the Assistant Director of BASIC. He was a student leader with BASIC at the SUNY Oswego campus and has never lost his heart for college students since then. He and his wife, Cheryl, have started BASIC groups at three colleges in NY. Outside of work you can hear him talking about his reluctant love for the Oakland Raiders, see him using his iPhone to get "the perfect shot" to feed his love for photography and playing with his adorable kids.