Who would win in a game of chess pieces versus checker pieces?
It’s impossible for them to play the same game, so trying to determine a winner is absurd.
A wise old friend once took me out for coffee and masterfully put an old way of thinking in checkmate for me. “Stop comparing your situation to theirs,” he said. “They are playing a different game than you are.”
Some people are focused on their career, and so a win for them is a prestigious job title. Some people are focused on their kids, and so a win for them is children who behave a certain way. Some people are focused on seeing the world, so a win for them is any trip anywhere.
It seems everyone thinks everyone else should be playing their game their way. We say things like they should work less and spend more time with their kids (not knowing that their finances are on the edge and every minute at work keeps them afloat). We say things like they should let their kids have more freedom (not knowing that the last time they tried that things didn’t go so well). We say things like they should put money in the bank rather than taking another trip (not knowing that trips are how their marriage stays fresh and vibrant).
We’re all different, and what important to you right now doesn’t have to be important for everyone else. Some people are simply playing a different game than you.
Every relationship you have can improve when you stop trying to figure out where they are in the game you’re playing and start to figure out where they are in the game they’re playing. Meet them where they are rather than where you think they are.
This is what Jesus did relentlessly. And from my experience, playing the game like He did is the only way it really makes sense.