A Painful Comparison; 3 of 3

You were asked whether you would take a Sunday school class this term, and you are sitting in church wondering why you foolishly agreed to do so. You look at Bob, sitting next to you, and think: “Why am I doing kids’ ministry? It’s not fair that I spend hours each week preparing for my class and all Bob has been signed up for is door duty. Bob only has to stand out front and greet people a couple of Sundays! I hope I get that duty next quarter…”

What does God say? Perhaps something like: “Stop looking at Bob. You’re where I placed you. Let it build your character. Keep your eyes on Me.”

Meanwhile, Bob gets to church early the next week and as he stands out side, waiting for the first members to arrive, he thinks: “God, why did you give me this job? You know that I’m horrible at making small talk! I never know what to say to people. My palms are sweating, I’m so nervous! Can’t I hide out in the kitchen, preparing morning tea?”

What would God say to Bob? Maybe: “Be strong and courageous.” Perhaps, He would not give any words, just a gentle peace to Bob that He was beside him.

It can be easy to compare our ministry to that of others. Sometimes we do so pridefully, believing we have the more important, or more significant, call. Other times we do so covetously, wishing we were living their life, or had their giftings. Often we do so simply out of idle curiosity.

This issue of comparison is not a new one. It is shown even amongst Christ’s disciples. How did Christ respond? Let’s have a look:

And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?”
But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest.
And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
(Mark 9:33-35).

And on another occasion:

Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”
Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”
(John 21:20-22).

Christ calls us to follow Him, not looking to the right or to the left. Do not stumble by gazing on the task of another. Keep your eyes on Christ and you will remain sure-footed.


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