Friday, April 8, 2011

Anything you can do, I can do better...

Competition is something that a lot of us deal with.  We either feel the need to be better than others, or we feel the constant pull of others always trying to outdo us.  It is not a Biblical concept.  We should not be trying to be better than other believers, or develop a lofty opinion of ourselves.  We are but dust and if God has chosen us for salvation, then we are being sanctified by His grace.  We do not possess any of our convictions because we are so intelligent or have super duper special character, but because God is sanctifying us for His glory and the furtherance of His kingdom.

It can be so easy to think that we have "arrived", or that we are at "the place"...the place where you have the market corner on perfection.  I mean after all, I didn't attend public school, so I must be better than those who did, or I don't wear pants, so I must have a higher standard of holiness than those who do.  This is absurdity!  While I do not condone public school, I would not automatically write someone off who did attend public school, who professed Christ as Lord and demonstrated true godliness and sanctification in their life.  God is the one who changes hearts and sanctifies souls, it is not of our own accord; and the very second we begin to develop this kind of thinking, we are doomed to failure.  Pride is one of the easiest things to succumb to, and one of the hardest to overcome. 

Instead of looking down on others who do not feel or believe as we do on some issues, let us seek to be a good example to them and make an effort to be kind and gracious, so that the Lord can use us to bring conviction to others' lives, thereby bringing change.  Likewise, God is always bringing change to us, to continue to make us into His likeness.  We need to be humble and submissive to how He brings this to us.  We can learn from those who hold to true Biblical doctrine and believe in Him and His Word, just as much as they can learn from us.  That is what the body of Christ is about!  Using each other as learning tools, working together as iron sharpens iron.  God designed it to work that way, so that we may achieve maximum growth potential! :)

"For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot says, 'Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,' it is not for this reason any less a part of the body.  And if the ear says, 'Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,' it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be?  If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?  But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.  If they were all one member, where would the body be?  But now there are many members, but one body.  And the eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you'; or again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you'."  (1Corinthians 12:12-21)

I am finding that young women are at a great risk of forming a concept, that says because they have this skill or that skill, they are somehow more womanly.  For example, if you or I begin to think that because we bake our own cookies, we will make better wives and mothers, we have another think coming.  The same principle applies to all homemaking skills; if you think that your incredible seamstress capabilities or book-keeping skills or any other type of skill, somehow makes you more feminine than those who are not your equal in those areas, then we do not have a Biblical picture of the body of Christ.  If we are around other young women who have been saved by the merciful hand of God, then we are the same.  Granted, we have differences, but that is exactly the way God intended for us to be!  One girl may be highly advanced when it comes to gardening, and then another girl over here, may be an exquisite seamstress, but if both are seeking to honor God with their lives and take dominion on this earth, then one is not even close to being better than the other.  Being a fruitful homemaker and Proverbs 31 woman is so utterly important, but we need to always remember that if we take on a "works" mindset and begin to think that our worth lies in our skills, we will have lost the heart of womanhood.  We should be seeking to be a Biblical picture of what God commands women to be, solely because it is what God requires, not because it makes us appear to be more holy. 

In all we do, let us make certain our hearts goal is to honor God, not honor ourselves.


Ashlin said...

God has made us each for our own unique purpose, and we each grow in different areas of our life at different times.

Humility... one of the hardest lessons for me to learn. I love what C.S. Lewis said, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less."

Another a quote I like is by A. W. Tozer, "The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God's estimate of his own life. In himself, nothing; In God, everything. He knows well that the world will never see him as God sees him and he has stopped caring." [The Pursuit of God, Pg. 73]

Thanks for sharing another edifying post enriched with God's Word. And thank you, Shelby, for encouraging me to seek more of the Lord's wisdom.

Shelby Mary said...

Thanks for sharing those quotes, Ashlin!! Humility is something we all struggle with. I pray everyday, that God will help me to have a humble and submissive heart and remind me of my own depravity.

I am glad you enjoyed the post! But more than that, I am glad God could use me to encourage you. It is only by His grace that we are able to do anything of worth.

Blessings to you, Ashlin!!

Jacqueline said...

Dear Shelby Mary,
I just found your writings because my daughter told me she loved your blog! It is vital and alive with the Word of truth and life!

As we will all wrestle with issues of pride, we must not forget Who the giver of the talents and gift is! We are so undeserving.

Another area of our walk in faith that corresponds is modesty. To be truly modest, it isn't only about dress. It is about how we look at others. It is love in action; the opposite is one ups-manship and striving...the competition you speak of.
The truth is always convicting. Thanks for hitting the nail squarely on the head :)
Grace and peace,

Shelby Mary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.