Every man wants to be significant. He wants to matter. He wants to be somebody, to leave his mark on the world. The older he becomes, the more critical he is of himself for not having become “somebody”. He begins to compare himself with others who he believes have made more of a difference in life. This man desperately wants to leave his mark, and will attempt to become what others are, because in his mind, everyone else but him is making a difference. This is a very dangerous place to be, and unfortunately many men are living in the land of comparison.
Such a man will see an accomplished musician, Pastor, Profit, Evangelist, Teacher, businessman, _________, (you fill in the blank); and will only see his shortcomings. He will only see what he is not. This man has no hope and his only friend is despair. But there is hope. There is clarity, and this clarity, this hope, this sense of purpose, is found in the Word of God. It’s no mystery, no hidden secret. I encourage you to open your heart to the Spirit and allow him to speak to your heart. Sometimes the profound is staring us straight in the face. Sometimes it’s been staring us straight in the face for a long time. This may change your life. It changed mine. Here it is.
It’s not about what we do in life, it’s about how we are to live that life. As always, we look to God as our model. When we do, we find that he loved us and gave himself for us. In fact, Paul tells us that we also are to “be imitators of God. . . that we are to “walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Eph. 5:1-2). That’s it. Walk in love. It’s not any more complicated than that, but we make it complicated, don’t we?
Living in the Land of Comparison
We spend countless hours, weeks, or even years trying to figure out what God wants from us. We desperately want to leave our mark on our generation, and man says, “Oh, if you could only be like that person”, or “If you only had that talent, then you could really have an impact”. What is wrong with this thinking? It is entirely based on what you do, not on what God does. This is living in the land of comparison.
Love One Another
Jesus commanded us to love one another. He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). Over 50 years later, Jesus’s best friend, John wrote, “. . . let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). The evidence that you know God is that you love others as he has loved you. It is not found in who or what you know, nor in the talent that God has blessed you with.
Take Mother Teresa, for example:
“On her arrival in India, she began by working as a teacher, however the widespread poverty of Calcutta made a deep impression on her and this led to her starting a new order called “The Missionaries of Charity”. The primary objective of this mission was to look after people, who nobody else was prepared to look after. Mother Teresa felt that serving others was a key principle of the teachings of Jesus Christ.” (See biographyonline.net)
She is quoted as having said: “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.” She also said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love” (see biographyonline.net).
You are Called to Love . . . Period
You are not called to live in the land of comparison. You are not called to envy how God uses others. You are not called to rely on your talent. You are not called to spend your life in trying to “be somebody”. You are called to love in the same selfless manner that Jesus loved you. You are to be marked by love, and in today’s world, that is the distinguishing mark, one that stands out from the rest.