I came across a verse recently that really resonated with me and it is one that I am still meditating on but I have some thoughts on it now which I will share below.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
The first thing that caught my attention is that we are to see others better than ourselves. What if you earn more than them? What if you have more influence than them? What if you're 'better' than them. Well, it does not matter, not in the slightest.
To esteem someone as better than yourself you must first lay aside pride and put on the garment of humility. It means that you do not have bad intentions towards others as you would not have such intentions to yourself (you shouldn't anyway). Delving deeper into it, seeing someone better than yourself means that you must have a grounded understanding and knowledge of your identity in Christ. Some verses come to mind such as:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
Psalm 139:13 (NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Let's look at the latter verse. 'For I know'. God says this with certainty; He does not waver. The question is, do you know? Granted we may not know all the specifics but we know that He has a plan for us, not just any plan but one that will advance us and give us a future. When you know this you won't be occupied with what others are doing because you are focused on the plan that God has for your life. The King James Version (KJV) switches the words plans with thoughts which is beautiful because it really does start with the mind, right? A verse that goes well with this is:
"As he thinketh in his heart so He is"
If you think you're a failure well, surprise surprise you will be one. If you think you are successful, you will be a success. With this in mind watch what you think and meditate on. It is much more than 'positive' thinking because what happens when you don't feel so positive? All the good thoughts from before go out of the window.
When you possess Christ centred thoughts about you it will eventually shape your identity and there is simply no room for insecurity. This also happens when we are honest with ourselves and our pasts as whilst we cannot control what is said to us, we can choose to imbibe it or discard it. It can take time to renew the mind and one thing I am learning is that it is a continuous process. It does not mean that you will not have momentarily lapses or flashes of doubt but quickly counter them with God's promises over your life.
With all that being said and you daily working on renewing your mind in Christ, you will find it easier to regard others as better than you. There will be no need to flinch or recoil because you know that your identity lies in Christ and not in your earthly accolades (which are not bad too). There will also be no need to see others as competition too. The saddest thing is when Christians see fellow Christians as 'competition' as if we don't have a common denominator- God.
This topic has many facets to it and I may delve into it more but for now I encourage you to meditate on this closing verse:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8 (KJV)