I remember writing the words, “I want to make a difference, I want to be a change-agent.” In my life, the longing to not be anonymous was great—chalk it up to personality or giftings or living in a troubled home with parents who often reminded me that they only stayed together because of the little girl who carried their DNA.
I wanted “unwanted” to be erased.
Your words may have been different, but they were there. We may not care about fame or power or position. But within us is the burn to to leave the world around us just a bit better than we found it.
What that world looks like to us may be different. For some of us, the world may be the people in our lives. For others, it may be the culture in our midst. But for all of us, it is the longing to add even a bit of meaning to a history not yet written, to write within the story of another life something that is life-giving.
And yet, we can become our own worst enemy when we view that longing as disqualified because we deem ourselves as unqualified. We rank ideals of beauty, influence, talent, giftedness, purpose—and always place ourselves slightly lower than others. If we are our worst enemy, then I believe comparison is our most destructive weapon. Comparison rarely moves us to contentment. Rather, it pushes us toward competition or condemnation—or a fierce ping-pong match of both.
And if you’re like me, comparison is always wanting to catch your eye, to shift your attention from an identity designed by God and made complete in Christ to an identity defined by pride, fear, insecurity, or shame. Comparison becomes the sin-filled weapon threatening to kill, steal, and destroy the goodness of our own stories.
But this is truth: we are gifted. Designed by God Himself, formed, purposefully and fully created for this life and for the lives of others. His joy is us living that life fully as we fill the space we are given each day. We are invited by Him to journey with Him to impact the world around us through Him.
Use whatever gift you’ve received for the good of one another so that you can show yourselves to be good stewards of God’s grace in all its varieties. (1 Peter 4:10)
I want you to consider what happens when you simply see yourself—every bit of your identity—as God-breathed. There be sacrifices you will make, things you will lay down, choices and decisions that to others might be invisible or insane or inane.
And yet the Lord knows and is ever faithful to encourage and to walk the road because He sees the you that was designed specifically to bring honor and glory to Him. Embracing our God-given identities doesn’t keep the temptation of comparison away, but it unshackles us from its bondage. He sees us—beautiful and unfettered.
And that, love, will change the world.