‘You just need to be more like them, once you are, things will really take off, God will use you more than you can imagine’
I still remember the day that thought first entered my mind.
A young adult, surrounded by incredible people of faith, I looked on at one of my incredible role models as they lead worship with passion and vigour. The congregation was completely focussed on Jesus – it was breathtaking.
I had just started playing guitar and singing (that was what I wanted it to be but, to be brutal, it wasn’t singing in tune…)
I remember that comparison thought: that, if I was like them, God would use me more; that people would grow in their faith because I was better at leading worship.
Comparison is that thing that loads of followers of Jesus preach about…
“look to Jesus, don’t compare yourself to others, just run your race.”
The bible tells us that one:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
I love those preaches, I’ve preached those preaches.
I try and live that so much.
Yet, now, in my thirties, I’m only just beginning to get the grasp of it.
It’s taken so many mistakes, painful moments, and downright hurt for me to realise deep within my soul that I am okay just the way I am.
That’s hard to admit.
I’m a pastor. I believe with all my heart that God designed us as individuals, that we all have our place within God’s kingdom, that what the world needs is a Holy Spirit filled me, with my gifts and my talents.
Sanctification is a big theology word (I had to look it up!) which means changing.
Some change can happen instantly, some quickly, and other change seems to take forever.
Comparing myself to others seems to have taken an age to shift, and I’m not even there yet, but I’m moving.
I recently became aware of the Enneagram. This is a personality test that is designed to help us know how we are wired. I came across it from a pastor friend in the states, who said that it helped him on a journey of self discovery.
I did the test, read the results, and nearly fell over. It described me so well. It said that my core fear is not being needed, my biggest desire is to help people.
I reflected upon the previous years.
In those years I had compared myself to one of my closest friends. He is the most incredible guy; he can chat to anyone (something I struggle with), he is really clear on what he thinks (my mind is often a mess), and he wasn’t scared of a bit of confrontation (I hate it and actively run from it at times.)
I spent years with the thought at the top of this blog – that, once I became less shy and able to talk to people easily, God would use me more. Once I got my head straight and focused, God’s plan would become clearer. Once I learnt to fight, then God would clear the path.
Friends, it’s all a lie.
Comparison kills purpose.
Purpose is what you were made for.
God chooses you.
He chose me, with my messy head and my shyness.
He wants us to show this world that He is enough.
So, here I come to a close.
I’m a pastor, who struggles with comparison.
But, I have found so much freedom over these last years because I am enough.
Because God wants me, not the me I think I need to be.
So friends, know today that you are enough.