Children grow. This is easily noticeable. Try having them put on last year’s jeans. Usually, they’re too small, too tight, too short. The days go by and we can measure them up against the fireplace. Hmm. Just last summer they couldn’t reach the mantle. It was the perfect hiding spot. But today, they reach. Nothing is hidden.
Their feet didn’t touch the floor when they sat. They dangled. They needed a stool if they were ever going to enjoy their silly impersonations in the mirror. They couldn’t reach the top cabinet. That’s where the goodies were. The seatbelt was too big. They needed a booster seat.
But today, things are different. Feet are steady on the floor. The stool is no longer a necessity. Reaching the top cabinets doesn’t challenge them. The booster seat is nowhere to be found. They’re changing. They’re growing. It’s easy to see.
But then there’s us. We get stuck. We get caught up in the routine and we forget time passes for us too. We’re getting older. Are we changing? Are we growing?
This. Right. Here.
I sat with my Photoshop and typed out these words from Galatians. I printed it out and framed it. Because we’ve got to put truth right in front of us if we’re ever going to see change and growth.
If you’re not careful, you might find yourself living the life someone else wants you to live. You might be doing a bunch of “good” things. Nonetheless, they were never a part of God’s assignment for your life. I love how Galatians challenges us to “make a careful exploration” of who we are.
In other words, it’s going to take work. It’s going to take sitting down and actually thinking about the gifts, talents, skills, and experiences we have. It’s going to take understanding what fires us up and what challenges us.
Then we’ve got to look at the work we’ve been given. What does that look like for you?
Don’t Be Impressed With Yourself
I’ve said it before, you are God’s masterpiece (Eph. 2:10). Know your worth. Know your value.
Here’s the thing. You’re not God’s only masterpiece. Don’t be impressed with yourself. All the amazingness (and yes, that is totally a word in my dictionary!)… all the amazingness you possess has nothing to do with you and everything to do with Christ in you.
Don’t Compare Yourself With Others
The rest of Eph. 2:10 says we were “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Comparison is a foolish trap. We take out our measuring stick and begin the endless work of seeing who’s bigger, who’s better, who’s less than. It’s prideful. It’s arrogant. It’s self-righteous. But we’re so used to carrying these measuring sticks, it’s difficult to live life any other way.
What if? What if instead of comparing ourselves to the brother or sister next to us, we’d trust God created “good works” for us too?! What if we truly believed that long ago, God already had a perfect work for us to walk in? What would happen then?
Having a right view of ourselves keeps us from the traps of jealousy and discontentment. It helps us to focus on the task given to us.
Sink Yourself Into That
If you’re going to exert energy, let it be by sinking yourself into the work God prepared for you to walk in. Each of us unique in our calling. Each of us unique in our gifting. Each of us given our very own “good works” to walk in.
Sink yourself into that!
We’ve been given a gift(s). There are works for us to walk in. They have our name on them. Now what?
Now we have a responsibility to stir up the gift within us; to “fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you” (2 Tim. 1:6). Sure you have struggles and trials to deal with. Sure you’ve had setbacks. Sure you’ve failed many times. But take responsibility. Look at where you are now. Today.
What is the “creative best you can do with your own life“?
Write it down. Pray about it. Then do it. Take the next step.
Because time is passing. You’re either changing and growing or you’re not.
Praying with your for growth this year, friend!