Sidelined

We’ve all heard it said “if the devil can’t make you bad, he will make you busy.” While I do agree that busyness can get us into trouble, I think there is something even more subtle and effective. Getting us to be sidelined, and out of the game, out of making a difference for the kingdom.

As a culture we are consumed with comparison. In fact, many marketing strategies are built on it. We all feel like we need that “it” item that every one else has. Social media is like gasoline to this fire. If only I had what he had. If only I had the opportunities that she had. If only this and if only that. Studies have even shown that social media can even contribute to depression, and I believe it’s because comparison can be so detrimental to our souls.

Recently, I’ve been having conversation with my friends about this topic. A friend said to me “I will never do amazing things for God, like go to Africa like you do.” I was shocked to hear this as I really respect this friend as an amazing woman of God. She is incredibly encouraging, funny and a wonderful mother. She is someone who seems so grounded and all together. And yet, she feels she’s less effective or important to the kingdom because she does not feel led to travel to Africa.

I looked at her and said, “and I look at you and how you care for your children and how thoughtful and encouraging you are to others, and I feel like I will never be like that.” I call myself “domestically challenged”, its just not my strong point, and sometimes I really beat myself up about it. Especially when we are invited to someone’s house and they cook and amazing meal, or when I see posts of moms doing crafts with their kids.

So did you catch what happened in my conversation with my friend? She’s looking at me, saying, “I will never do those things, I don’t measure up, I don’t matter as much.” And I am looking at her saying the same thing.

The comparison game can leave us paralyzed. It can sideline us. I believe we each have a unique God given purpose. But if we spend our time looking at others, comparing, wishing for their lives, feeling inadequate, we will miss what He has for us. In fact, we sideline ourselves.

We are all unique. God has given us each gifts and talents for use in His Kingdom. In addition, the scope of our influence is also God given, and looks different for each of us. Our purpose is to discover what He uniquely created us to do, and to serve him with all our hearts. We are all members of one team, each position may look different, but every position matters. We are a body, every part matters.

So yes, I do travel to Africa for my job. Not everyone can or wants to do that. And my friend has written me encouraging notes, and brought a meal for our family during a difficult time as she does for others. Without encouragement from people like that, people that do missions work would not be able to do what we do. We each matter.

Let’s fast-forward 100 years…. none of us will be here. We will all be in eternity. What will matter is what we did with what we specifically were given and asked to do. And whatever crowns and rewards we get, I believe our desire will be to lay them at His feet anyways, they aren’t for us. Our lives matter most in light of Him and His kingdom, not our small world.

Has comparison left you sidelined because you feel like your gifts aren’t as good or important as someone else’s? Get off the bench and get in the game. You matter to the team. Most importantly, you matter to the King.

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