Do you ever feel like you're failing God? Do you look at those around you and think "gosh, I'm slacking"?
Ok so that's a lie…Or rather a well-placed sentence added for dramatic effect. There were/are plenty of times that I feel like I don't measure up or I feel that I've let Him down. I look at other people and think "boy, they've got it all together". When we play that comparison game it's really easy to feel down. You take your eyes off of how far you've come and look at what you've yet to achieve.
Yesterday, we talked to our students about justification, the fact that we are made righteous ONLY through Christ's atoning sacrifice. As I went around my table and asked my girls if this bothered them (that nothing they could do would ever be good enough on its own). Or made them happy (that nothing they could do HAD to be good enough on its own). I didn't stop to ask myself. Obviously, the answer should be happy. The training wheels are on, the safety net is there, it creates a no fail zone and who wouldn't want that?
But if I'm truly happy and know that Christ is enough why does it bother me when people praise the work that others do. Why does it feel like, in actuality, they are trying to say that what I'm doing is not enough? I think its human nature to be competitive and that's not always a bad thing. When we want to out serve one another "in love" we are using that character trait to our benefit and to the benefit of those around us. However, when our service becomes a reason for us to brag we then negate it.
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6: 1-2
When we look to humans as our measuring rod of how "good" we need to be or how "much" we need to serve we open the door for envy (which leads to a whole other slew of problems). However, when we look to Christ we realize how unworthy we are to even feel prideful over our minuscule victories. Not to be cheesy but there's no ME in ministry. It's not about building yourself up or impressing those around you. Those feelings of inadequacy come when we forget that. Yes of course you could do more; you could always do more and shouldn't stop striving to. But no you aren't a failure based on the performance of those around you. Be happy for them. Celebrate their commitment. However, remember that God created you for a purpose. There are people that only you can reach and most times it will be your brokenness and failures that speak to those hearts. So stop trying to be perfect! Keep being you.