Comparison November 15, 2022
Tuesday, November 15th
Take5 Devotional today written by Sarah Czerwinski, Associate Pastor for Young Adults
In college, I became a part of a ministry that celebrated and advocated for using spiritual gifts. Often, we were encouraged to read, explore, and act out on gifts we felt the Spirit was equipping us with. As I learned more about the gift of encouragement (or prophetic encouragement), I watched my roommate Andrea thrive in sharing special messages to people that aligned with scripture and the heart of God. She shared with wisdom, discernment, and ease. I watched as those she spoke to were stirred, encouraged and moved by these words that showed the Father’s heart towards them.
Personally, I was still new to this concept of stepping out and following the promptings of the Holy Spirit to encourage others through scripture, prayer, or exhortation. I wanted what Andrea had and slowly began to resent my lack of gifting in this area. In many ways, I felt I did not “fit” within this community where so many shared and spoke so freely to one another, even total strangers, with encouragement from the Lord. As I allowed my insecurities to take root, my joy for the Lord’s people began to fade.
One day I was leaving for work when I found a small note on my car. It was from Andrea. She shared how she noticed and was stirred by my gift of hospitality toward others; how I welcomed people into knowing Jesus through my ability to be invitational and hold space for them. Her gift, her insight from the Lord, encouraged me to continue walking in my natural gifting. Suddenly, I was no longer ashamed to have a different gift but excited to cultivate and develop the supernatural giftings God had given me to bring others into the reality of knowing Him. Now, when I encounter followers of Jesus with different supernatural gifts than me, I recognize how comparison can be the thief of my joy as a member of the body.
I appreciate how Jesus came in a physical body as a tangible example that the Church needs every member. He, just like the rest of us, could not have functioned optimally without his heart just as much as his big toes. As silly as it seems, we can focus so much on ourselves and what we feel we lack that we miss out on optimizing our roles for the greater good of the Church and those who need to know Jesus.
Today’s action step: Take an honest moment before the Lord and ask the Spirit to reveal any place you are unhelpfully comparing yourself to another Christian brother or sister. Are you feeling frustrated, resentful, or unappreciative about your gifts? Ask the Lord to identify your gifts clearly and help you continually develop them to be used to build His Kingdom here on earth.