My life long friend Beth sent me an email this week describing all the things she saw her friends doing and how she was feeling somewhat discouraged that her list of accomplishments wasn’t all she thought it should be. Her husband (who is seminary trained, a former pastor and a chaplain in the U.S. reserves) very wisely told her that she was accomplishing exactly what God had set before her to do and that nobody else could accomplish the tasks of being a mother to their family, Cubbie leader, encourager, etc. like she could.
Beth and I emailed back and forth about how we often compare ourselves to one another. We can easily become like Peter, who in John 21, when Jesus is clearly saying to Peter….“do this”, counters with…..“but what about him?”. Classic comparison. Instead of going and doing exactly what God was telling him to do, he (much like we are sometimes inclined to do) said….“but wait…what do you want him to do?” Jesus was pretty direct in his response, saying….“what is that to you? You FOLLOW me.” In other words….you go do what I’ve called you to do and stop worrying about what anyone else is or isn’t doing.
God has given each of us different talents and gifts for serving him and we can’t compare our gifts or callings to those of anyone else. My friend Tommy Brown once said “it is a beautiful thing to watch someone do exactly what God made for them to do.”
What is your thing of beauty? What gifts can you use to serve Him? Romans 12 :4-8 provides a listing of many of the spiritual gifts. Figure yours out and use it to serve Him. (There are even online resources to help you determine your gift.)
A favorite quote I have sitting next to my kitchen sink is from the wise (and funny!) Erma Bombeck who said….“when I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, “I used everything you gave me.”
And I bet you anything she heard “well done, my good and faithful servant.”