October 3, 2008
“Be an instrument of gold or of steel, of platinum or of
iron – big or small, delicate or rough. They’re all
useful. Each serves its own purpose. Who would dare say that the
carpenter’s saw is any less useful than the surgeon’s
scalpel? Your duty is to be an instrument.” - Jose Escriva
We live in a culture of comparisons. We compare our bodies to
the models on magazine covers, we compare our lives to the excitement
of a TV drama, we compare our houses to the mansion on the next
block. And yes, in church we compare our gifts, our calling, and
our service with names like James Dobson, Billy Graham, or Mother
Such comparisons are deadly for many reasons, but let us focus
here on just one. When we compare ourselves with others and then
disparage ourselves and our gifts and calling as “not good
enough,” we are less likely to put time, effort, and energy
into those gifts and calling. It’s like the child on the
playground who sits on the sidelines and pouts because he didn’t
get picked to be team captain. Rather than play the position he
is good at, he would rather do nothing at all.
If we act the same way, the advance of the kingdom of God grinds
to a halt. It’s time to stop making useless comparisons – and
start living the life God has called us to!
- What are your spiritual
gifts? Do you feel that God is calling you to a specific task
or role? If so, what is it?
- Have you been guilty of making inappropriate
comparisons? If so, confess this to God, and ask him to give
you a true perspective of yourself and others.
- To help understand
the impact you have in the world, make a list of everyone with
whom you have regular contact – at
home, in your neighborhood, at work, at church, etc. Then ask
yourself: How am I currently ministering to each of these people?
How could I minister to them in the future?