What’s it to You?
by Laura Baker
Jesus gives a peculiar response to Peter in John 21:21-22 when Peter inquires what Jesus’ plans are concerning John. “Lord, what about him?” he asked. Jesus basically tells him it’s none of his business and that he needs to keep his focus on his own call. Jesus stated, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”
Have you ever thought about this passage? It’s not taught much, but maybe we should stop and think about it.
Competition within the body of Christ is rampant these days. And why is that? Why are we competing with one another when we are all part of the same Body with a common goal?
It boils down to one thing: IDENTITY
Once we have become born again, we are made anew. Our Spirit, that was dead, has just been born anew. The Bible calls us a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17.
We are different than other human beings. We have the Spirit of God living in us and should be striving for a common goal to introduce others to the Kingdom of Christ. We are “in Christ” – only one part of a whole, and yet significant. What we do affects our Christian brothers and sisters. But sadly, this truth seems to be fading away for many.
Everyone wants to have a big ministry, or be on a stage, or claim a big title and “change the world”. But what if that’s not your assignment?
Many have become accustomed to measuring their status as a follower of Christ by the standards of the world, when this is the last thing we should be using as our gauge. We think the size of our ministry, church, or Bible study reflects our success, when this couldn’t be further from the truth. In doing this, we are trying to measure spiritual efforts using carnal methods. That is how the world measures accomplishment. But we are called out of this world. So, there should be a distinction between our ways of operation and the world’s.
I remember reading a story about an elderly woman that poured herself into a young neighbor boy. She didn’t have a big ministry or anything. She just taught him wisdom and the love of Jesus, and gave him godly counsel. This boy grew up to be a global minister because of her impact. Her “ministry” was one boy. And she was completely successful in her mandate.
Do you see? It’s not about numbers. It’s not about competition. It’s about growing in your new identity, making time to feed your newly made spirit man, and letting go of the competition of the world. We have to get out of that mindset.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:30, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” He never asked us to exhaust ourselves striving for the standards of the world. He actually told us to avoid that.
Also, as the seasons change in your life, your assignments will change. You are given grace as a mother or father to raise your children according to God’s standards and teach them His ways. This call is often overlooked as a mere “responsibility”. But it’s more than that. It’s an honor. It’s a call! The impact can influence hundreds of thousands of lives in one short generation. Never underestimate the power of discipleship. Never marginalize the time spent with someone willing to learn about God. You are equipped to have an incredible ministry in your own home, with a couple of friends, with a neighbor, or a new member from church.
We are each made for a specific purpose, with a specific mandate that won’t look like anyone else’s. If you know who you are in Christ, you will never want to be like anyone else. As a matter of fact, being like someone else would be a demotion for you.
We don’t necessarily need more big ministries. We need to ask God to send us one or two people we can pour into as we continue to grow ourselves and get our souls healed. We need time in the Word to allow our spirit man to grow up and take its rightful place over our carnal nature, so we don’t run out and build a false identity on our own.
So, don’t worry about competing and comparing yourself to others. You have nothing to prove. God already chose you and loves you. Abide in that truth and just follow Him. This is a process. Periodically ask yourself if you’ve grown spiritually. Are you able to love more than you used to? Can you pray for people you don’t like, and really mean it? Are you able to respond in love to people who are ugly to you? The Bible even tells us to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above ourselves.
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