Gifted to Serve

Don’t forget who you are–ever!

The comparison trap is a snare that many of us step in. 

It’s so easy to look around at others and think, “There’s just no way for me…”

First off, that’s stinkin’ thinkin’ from the get go. 

Secondly, no one’s asked you or even expects you to be anyone but yourself. 

As Christians, we understand that there’s unity in diversity. 

Think about the list of ministry gifts and manifestation gifts. 

They’re all different! And everyone has a job to do within the body of Christ. 

The goal is the same: share the gospel and make disciples. But the means required to do so demands a diversity of methods. 

I know this topic is a bit elementary in nature. It’s just that I found myself forgetting these fundamental truths today. 

The biggest reason I run far away from the comparison trap is that there’s no room for encouraging others when you’re busy comparing yourself. 

Plus, you waste time and wreck relationships. 

Do you know what I did during my prayer time today?

I thanked God for who He made me to be.

 I thanked Him for opening doors of opportunity to minister to others by using the gifts He’s given me. 

And, no, it isn’t prideful arrogance to pray in this manner. If the goal was to puff yourself up it would be different. 

The goal is to thank Him for using you in His kingdom. 

The goal is to recognize that God made you to be a vessel that serves others.

Understanding your identity in Christ takes away the need to compare yourself to anyone else. 

The key to Christmas cheer

You are enough. Keep that in mind this Christmas season. 

The chatter at parties can quickly turn into brag fests by well meaning family and friends. 

My Susie got accepted into Harvard and Yale. 

Well, Billy is now the head of his department. 

What about you?

Uh…I’m about the same as last year. Everything is rocking along quite normally. 

There’s nothing wrong with being excited and sharing good news. When else can you tell all the family?

Just keep in mind that you’re not the center of the universe, the star of the show. 

On the flip side, don’t walk away from a Christmas gathering feeling like a failure because you can’t compete with the success of others. 

It’s not a competition! 

We’re all on different paths. Respect the differences, okay?

Christmas is the time for families to encourage each other and to reflect on the important things in life. 

It doesn’t have to be a stressful, overwhelming experience. 

Enjoy the egg nog and banter over a plate of Christmas fare. Remember, you are enough. Let yourself relax for once. 

One Uppers and Comparisons

We’ve all told a story and had someone pull a one up.

I’ve told a one up story or two or twenty….

It’s something that I am more conscious of now as I hang out with friends because there’s nothing worse than being one upped.

No one likes a One Upper either.

Here’s an example:

My first bass

My first bass

I went fishing this summer and caught two (small) large mouth bass–my first–along with a few brim and trash fish. It was a big deal for me! I was excited. Pictures were taken and hoorahs were shared with my family.

A few days later, I told an acquaintance about the trip.

“That’s nothing. I’ve caught 25 fish during one trip.”

My first catfish

My first catfish (It was a baby)

I had to admit their story was better.

Fishing is something I enjoy, but I’m not very good at it. I could’ve caught a lot of fish that day. However, my dead cat like reflexes, combined with being distracted by the beauty of the scene around me, meant that many fish passed me by (after eating my bait, of course).

I was still proud, though, of my two fish.

My conversation ended like this:

“Wow. It sounds like you had a great time. I’m pretty sure I haven’t caught 25 fish in my lifetime. But I am proud of my haul. I had fun too.”

Remember how I told you perfectionism is the enemy?

Comparison is an enemy too.

Someone will always be bigger, better, prettier, more talented, and smarter than you.

But what the world needs is for you to show up.

There’s only one ____________ (insert your name here).

You are special.

I know it’s easy to forget–I do it all the time!

Some days it feels like I’m the most average, boring person in the world.

But that is not true.

Put your measuring stick away.

You are special.

You are enough.