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Let me tell you …
a figurative story of how comparison trapped me in the past.
One time God gave me a special calling to carry out. My step was firm, my eye on the horizon. My desire was to keep moving forward and complete the mission.
As I walked in life, a shiny flash to the left caught my eye. I did a double-take at the shining wonder; my steps slowed to a stop. I saw another girl’s calling. It was beautiful…sparkly…glorious! A wishful breath filled my lungs—it was what I wanted.
I looked down in dismay at the calling I carried in my hands. It seemed less than special.
When I looked up again, I noticed iron bars akin to a prison cell were forming between me and the shiny object. Or were they? I felt them more than saw them. Feeling somewhat trapped, I gazed to the right to search for a more comforting view.
On the Right
Another sparkling entity stood in plain view and immediately captured my attention: another girl’s talent. My eyes locked on the marvelous wonder, a longing burned inside that my talent could be like this. The longer my eyes stayed locked on it, the more the tugging increased. The intense magnetic longing for it pulled me to my knees.
My eyes shot to the talent in my hands that I once deemed uncommon and pleaded with it to become as glorious. As my head hung in dismay, more iron bars emerged from the ground at my knees. I scanned them slowly and reached for a bar. Yes—it was real.
Panic threatened the edges of my heart, and I stood up quickly, remembering I needed to keep moving forward. Bars now to my right and left, I remembered how I was adamant before I started this journey: I wouldn’t go backward. The only way was straight in front of me.
In Front of Me
Then why did I keep looking down? Almost ready to take that first step forward, a mixture of confused and hopeless thoughts flooded my mind.
What seemed so special before now seems altogether ordinary and unimportant.
Why didn’t—why couldn’t— I have those shiny treasures?
Wasn’t I good enough?
The deluge of thoughts was interrupted by the view in front of me: another girl’s accomplishment. My eyes glimmered from its glorious reflection. What prestigious status! Immensely good!
I didn’t regard the bars that appeared in front of me; I wrapped my fingers tightly around them and pressed my nose in between them in hope of a closer view.
A slamming of a metal door with the clicks of a lock behind me awakened my envious trance. I spun on my heel to look. Beads of perspiration gathered on my forehead—iron bars now boxed me in on all four sides.
I was locked in a cage of comparison.
Where’s the Key?
We’ve probably all heard a sermon about not comparing ourselves to others, and that’s good. But I learned a truth one day when I was trapped in that figurative cage.
Instead of focusing on “I shouldn’t compare, I shouldn’t compare, I shouldn’t compare” (which is true), I needed to focus on the fact that while I’m trapped in the cage of comparison, I’m unable to get out and fulfill my own destiny!
Confidence is the key to unlock the cage.
We are all working in His kingdom to let the world see Jesus in what we do—specifically.
See, God doesn’t give us a ministry to copy others.
When I drop the ball on the part He gave me to do, others are going to feel the lack in the kingdom. So I need to keep moving forward in confidence, knowing my labor is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Confidence Makes Us Shine
Confidence is going to give me the power to possess my own God-given vision, and fulfill it. What God wants me to make with the work of my hands IS going to be shiny, beautiful, sparkly, glorious, marvelous, wonderful, desirable, of prestigious status, and immensely good!
Why? Because His Church shines with the light of His glory.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 ESV
It’s like God creates the paint and gives me a color. When I splash my color up on the canvas, it helps complete the big picture.
And the big picture the world sees is Jesus.
Shine in the Unity of Community
One of the assignments God gave me was to start the Blogger Voices Network (for women only) to sow and water with:
Encouragement on their visions, dreams, gifts, etc.
Activation to work in the kingdom
Releasing them where they are through the freedom Christ brings
Reminding of who they are in Christ
The heart and foundation of this Network is that we would together “with one voice glorify God” (Romans 15:5-7).
Are you a blogger that wants to:
practice contentment in ministry?
be in a like-minded community of women?
collaborate with the goal of glorifying God?
How is God encouraging you today?