What we lack most in life seems to be a sense of purpose. It’s unfortunate when you lack purpose because it causes you to lack direction. It clouds everything and offers nothing except confusion, despair, and disappointment.
There is only one high calling and that is in Christ Jesus. As a Disciple of Christ your identity comes from him. You live and move and have your being in him. That’s what we call purpose and it’s hidden in him and needs to be discovered.
You were born to make a difference. Serving a higher purpose in life, besides feeding the flesh all the time, is a fantastic goal for every disciple of Christ. One of the keys to making a difference is listening to the voice of your inner man. That’s what we call the “still small voice.”
It can be unhealthy, wrong, and just plain old depressing to compare yourself with others. Some people make this mistake. They start comparing themselves with others and the next thing you know they are depressed. Maybe it’s the size of their ministries, their number of Instagram followers, awards received, or many other things of that sort.
When we started SOLM Church I remember being at a meeting in Sweden. We were attending a leader’s luncheon. This young man came to our table, introduced himself and spent about fifteen minutes telling us how he was called to preach the gospel in the USA. Then he asked me a very common question. He said, “How many people do you have in your church?” Since we had just launched, we didn’t have many. I said we have maybe fifteen on a good day. You should have seen the look on his face. He excused himself and we never saw him again.
Apostle Paul warned against these things. He said, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12).
The point is, Christ has given you a specific assignment. There is no need to compare yourself with others. The number of people in your ministry is not a conclusive measure of ministry success. I know great pastors in small villages. They may never have big churches, but they love God and are being faithful to do what they are called to do. Success in ministry is not judged by how many people are part of your Facebook group, etc. Success in ministry depends on your faithfulness to do what you are called to do.
There is nothing wrong with learning and growing. That’s not what we are talking about. We are talking about comparing yourself in the sense of spiritual pride or for the wrong motives.
We tend to overestimate other people’s ministries and ability. This is worth remembering. Generally speaking, nothing is as it appears. Stay focused on your calling and your assignment. The Holy Spirit will keep you on the right track. Don’t compare yourself with others. Comparing yourself with others is grievous but depending on the Holy Spirit is joy.
Some lessons are good, some are not. It’s what you do with them that counts. This Scripture comes up many times when bad things happen, unexplainable things, and things that come at the most inopportune time. Scripture says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).