"And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all" (Mark 10:44).

I never encouraged competition between my four children while homeschooling, but it happened anyway. In fact, I only wanted my children to give their best each day and suggested forgetting grades altogether. However, their need to rate themselves against each other and other children their age dictated a request for a report card. Their human need to know where they were in the scheme of things filtered its way into their mindset and manifested itself during schoolwork. They simply had to know if they were smarter or better in a particular subject than their siblings or someone else.

Christ's disciples weren't any different. When following Jesus on Earth, a great debate arose among them. Wanting to know where they fit into the future scheme of things, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, foolishly asked Jesus if they could sit on either side of Him in heaven (Mark 10:37). Hearing this request, the other ten disciples became indignant, and Jesus took the opportunity to teach them all a valuable lesson in servanthood.

Are you comparing your homeschooling performance to other families, or are you simply giving your best and expecting the same from your children? God has uniquely designed your family with gifts and abilities, and your success in homeschooling isn't dictated by what other families are doing. God only expects you to seek His guidance and obey Him, so He can show you how to let go of unhealthy competition and focus on serving others instead.

Father, forgive me for trying to compete with the homeschool down the street. Teach me to listen to the Holy Spirit and depend on the truths of Your Word as I homeschool each day. In Jesus' name, Amen.