I Am Greatly Loved. That was the title of our women’s Bible study lesson last month. My friend Kristin wrote and taught the lesson, and it was amazing. She talked about how we are God’s masterpiece and have been created for a specific purpose.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:20
In the middle of this amazing, thought-provoking, and encouraging lesson, I sat there thinking this: “Kristin is a better teacher than I am. I love how she pauses for effect and leans forward to make her point. She’s funny, she’s encouraging, and she makes me think. On top of that, she’s adorable and has the cutest clothes. She is going to be a hard one to follow.” You see, I was scheduled to teach the following week’s lesson, and I was stuck in the rut of comparison
Maybe you don’t compare yourself to others the way I do. But I doubt it. I think most of us, at least occasionally, wonder why we can’t be as skinny, as cute, as talented, as funny, as intelligent, or as (your issue) as someone else seems to be. Why do we do that?
As the “I’m not good enough” doubts scrolled through my brain, the irony of the situation did not escape me. Here I was, listening to Kristin talk about how God created each of us for a specific purpose, wishing that I could teach just like she teaches. Wouldn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of God making me different?
You know what, though? The Holy Spirit is so faithful to speak to us in times like these. The entire time my crazy thoughts were threatening my confidence, the Holy Spirit was whispering words of affirmation to me. “Nancy, I didn’t create you to be like Kristin. You are you, uniquely created to bring my truth to these sweet girls with your own style and your own humor. You don’t have to be like Kristin. If I wanted you to be like Kristin I would have made you that way. I want you to be you.”
When the lesson was over, I shared my thoughts with the other women at my table. And, as you might expect, they too encouraged me to just be me. The same way the Holy Spirit had reminded me, they told me that God didn’t create me to be like Kristin but to teach in the unique way he has equipped me. And then, one precious friend added, “Besides, fancy doesn’t rhyme with Kristin.” She has a point. Ha!
Friend, can I just remind you today of the same thing I needed to remember? You have been created for a beautiful and unique purpose. Don’t waste precious time comparing yourself to your neighbor, another mom, a colleague, a sister, or a friend – no one has been made just like you. Should you find yourself heading down the comparison path, please stop for a moment and take time to listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. You can count on him to tell you the truth.
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” Psalms 139:13-14
Nancy loves to laugh and considers laughter a critical part of human survival. If you were to ask, most days she would say her glass is half full but when it starts reaching the half-empty level, she reaches for a funny book or movie knowing that indeed “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Nancy has three married sons and five grandchildren. To read more from Nancy find her at www.nancyholte.com.
Great word! Thanks for writing, Nancy.
Thanks for your kind words, Kristen.