Thursday, May 29, 2014

I Am To Do My Own Work Well, And Never Compare

In review of Galatians 6:4 it says, “Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others.”

Bottom Line:
Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.

What this means to me:
I am to do my own work well, judging only my own conduct and actions, then if it is good, I can be proud and have satisfaction with the work I have done, never needing to compare it with what someone else has done. I’m learning that the enemy will try to steal my joy of service in two ways: first by tempting me to compare my ministry with others and secondly by tempting me to conform my ministry to the expectations of others. Both are deadly traps that will ultimately distract me from serving in the ways God intended. This verse warns me to never compare myself with others: “Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others” (Galatians 6:4 CEV). There are two reasons why I should never compare my SHAPE, my ministry, or the results of my ministry with anyone else: First, I will always be able to find someone who seems to be doing a better job than me, and I will become discouraged. Secondly, I will always be able to find someone who doesn’t seem as effective as me and likely become full of pride. Either attitude will take me out of service and rob me of my joy. Paul said it is foolish to compare ourselves with others. He said, “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12 NIV). The Message paraphrase version explains it as, “In all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point” (2 Corinthians 10:12b). I believe I will always find people who do not understand my shape for ministry, they will criticize me and try to get me to conform to what they think I should be doing. I need to just Ignore them! Paul often had to deal with critics who misunderstood and maligned his service. His response was always the same: Avoid comparisons, resist exaggerations, and seek only God’s commendation. One of the reasons Paul was used so greatly by God was that he refused to be distracted by criticism or by comparing his ministry with others or by being drawn into fruitless debates about his ministry. Whenever I feel that my ministry is slow moving or taking a long time to bear fruit, I’ll ask God for perseverance and for the wisdom to stay on focus with what God wants me to do.