TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:22 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Waaaaaay back in 1989, Sports Illustrated released a three-series workout program called, “Super Shape Up,” and in high school, I used to do the Elle MacPherson “Stretch and Strengthen” video regularly (VHS, y’all!!!). I recently found it on YouTube, and I’ve learned three things…
- I remember this being much, much easier when I was 18.
- Compared to Elle MacPherson, I have the short, stubby arms of a T-Rex.
- Comparison was the enemy then, and it’s the enemy now.
But, it’s not just our physical selves we compare.
We compare our successes. Our wins. Our losses. Even the way we serve God can be put under the microscope of comparison.
Comparison is a battle mankind has struggled with for thousands of years. I’m reminded of the conversation Jesus had with Peter on the beach after His resurrection and before His ascension. Jesus told Peter, “Feed My lambs; tend My sheep; feed My sheep, and follow Me” (paraphrased from John 21:15-19). After giving these instructions, Peter noticed John walking behind them. Verses 21-22 say, “When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!’”
In short, Jesus was saying, don’t compare! He had a unique assignment for Peter and a unique assignment for John. The two disciples didn’t need to worry about what the other was doing; it was their responsibility to follow Jesus.
We have the same responsibility. There’s no need to compare our lives to others. Jesus has asked us to follow Him, but that doesn’t mean that we all sing solos in church or coordinate mission trips. We all have our own unique calling to serve. Your mission may simply be to serve others as a prayer warrior… or offer encouragement to those God has placed in your life… or extend hospitality. We aren’t all called to the same assignment, but we are called to follow the same purpose. To compare our assignment to another’s is a waste of time.
And it’s coveting. We can take this one back all the way to Exodus 20:17, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” The disciples-of-Jesus-version of this commandment might read, “Thou shalt not covet your fellow believer’s spiritual gifts or calling.”
In what way do you compare yourself to other believers? Do you wish God would let you do what he or she is doing? Do you get distracted from your own God-given assignment as you covet another?
Rest assured, you are valued exactly where God has placed you. All God asks from us is a willing heart, and He does the rest. You may feel that your contributions to the kingdom aren’t making much of a difference, but consider this… Billy Graham, arguably the greatest evangelist the world has ever known, was led to Christ by a Kentucky preacher named Mordecai Ham. It’s doubtful that Mr. Ham knew how far-reaching that act of obedience — sharing the Gospel with Billy Graham — would be. Mr. Ham cast the stone, and the ripple effect of Billy Graham’s ministry has been tremendous. It’s estimated that over 215 million people heard the Gospel from Billy Graham. How inspiring is that? Doesn’t that make you wonder… when you get to heaven someday, how humbling will it be when Jesus tells you how your obedience made an impact for His kingdom?
As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Don’t let comparison rob you of the joy that comes from serving the Lord with all your heart!
Today, as you pray, thank God for the unique assignment He has given you. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you use your spiritual gifts to His glory, without comparing yourself to others.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.