“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 11:30
On a scale of 1 to 10, where would you rank yourself as a driver?
Go ahead. Say your answer out loud…
I’d be willing to bet your number was higher than a five. Why do I say that? Because most all of us look at those other people around us who are terrible drivers and believe wholeheartedly that we’re better drivers than they are. We don’t speed, tailgate, wander in our lanes, or drive in the lane that is closing ahead until the last moment before cutting into the long line of traffic. We always use our turn signal, yield the right of way to others at four way stops and have never, ever been distracted behind the wheel by our phones.
Care to revisit that number?
This isn’t designed to be a critique of your driving abilities. If you feel that you’re in the upper half, I say go for it. Or in the words of the band Journey, Don’t Stop Believin’. My point here has more to do with the data. By definition, the pool of people who are above-average drivers tops out at 49% of the population. So, for every driver on planet earth who claims to be above-average, there must also be one who is below-average.
We’ll move on before you start stereotyping…
This is not uncommon. In fact, there have been studies exploring the question of why people always think of themselves above average at most things. Through surveys it has also been learned that:
- Almost all drivers think they are better than the average driver
- Ninety-four percent of college professors believe that their teaching skills are above average
- A survey of high-school students found that seventy percent described themselves as above average leaders
You would think that with that much success our world would be teeming with excellence. The fact that it is not leads me to believe that something else is happening here. But what? Too much ego? An over-abundance of self-confidence developed over time because we won too many participation trophies? I don’t know about all of that. Maybe we just genuinely work hard at the things we do and feel that we have achieved a level of skill or value that others have not. Whatever the reason, I think we can all agree on two things:
- People like to consider themselves above-average on most things
- People waste lots of money funding frivolous studies
As I consider this topic I am led to ask the appropriate follow up question: At which things are we willing to admit to being below-average? Here’s five examples from my very extensive list:
- Folding fitted sheets
See anything on my list to which you can relate? Maybe a few. Truth is there are many people who have tremendous gifts and abilities in these things but lack in others. This is one of the beauties of God’s creation; the diversity with which He made us. What headlines my list of weaknesses may be one of your greatest strengths. In fact, there is only one thing that we all share on our below-average lists: our ability to perfectly follow the will of God.
God has given us His commandments and calls for us to follow them. However, our sinfulness prevents us from being able to do it, leaving us lost in our sin and separated from our Creator.
Thankfully, God understands this and out of His great love for us has provided a way to salvation. Through Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection we have been given a gift that lifts us back into a right relationship with the Father. This is in no way because we have earned it or deserve it. It is by God’s grace though our faith in Jesus that this happens.
Whatever our earthly gifts may be, we know that in all things our greatest gift is one that we received without merit from our perfect, loving God.
Now if only I could learn how to fold fitted sheets……
Statistics source: https://priceonomics.com/why-do-we-all-think-were-above-average/