Am I the Joneses?
By Dawn Mast
Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Galatians 6:4-5 NIV
Most people I know live in a house. They have furniture, dishes and "stuff." We live in a house and have furniture, dishes and "stuff" as well, but sure as I'm sitting here I think other people have better stuff than we do.
Sadly it happens with spiritual gifts too. Others seem to be able to lead a Bible study, sing to the rafters and organize up a storm, but all I do is write.
God called me to write and I want the "stuff" the other sisters have – the singing, the leading, the organizing. It's called comparing and coveting and He put a number on it. Commandment 10. Last on the list so we'd remember it, maybe?
So how do we best break out of this rut of comparison? We don't want to go so far as to think we are so magnificent that there isn't a shred of humility within us. Nor do we want to be so self-depreciating that no one can stand to be around us. The world will never see Jesus in us if we take one of those roads!
Galatians 6:4-5 reminds us to not compare to others, but to test our own actions. If we trust our Heavenly Father with the gifts He has given us and use them to further His Kingdom, then we can take pride in knowing we have done something honorable.
Search your heart. Listen to what truly trusted believers have told you about your gifts. Above all else, ask the Father what gifts He has given you, how and where He wants you to use them. The only comparison we need is to hold up our actions against God's Word. He will show us how to use our gifts and how to best bless His name.
When tempted to compare our actions, gifts or even our material items with those of others, a good exercise is to stop and thank God for what He has given specifically to you. Gifts of hospitality, writing, child care, healing ministry, praying, humor, art, teaching, music, baking, cooking, reading to those who are ill, writing notes/cards, encouragement, sewing or gardening all of these (and more) are ministries He uses and the way YOU do it cannot be compared to the way someone else does it.
Heavenly Father thank You for the way You call me to serve. I'm sorry I sometimes don't see the opportunities before me or how I desire gifts that are not mine. You know how my heart longs to be like You, but I sometimes get off track and want the gifts that You have given to others. Please show me the places where You will have me serve and be most used by You so that my heart and mind will not want to compare. Please forgive that flesh part that slides back into that habit. I am Yours and long to serve those who need to know You! Amen!
© 2018 by Dawn Mast. All rights reserved.
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