“Nutty with a Dash of Meat” Jeanette Levellie here with a fun–but not at the time–story about how the Lord gave me a kick in the pants to help me learn humility. I hope you don’t need this lesson, but just in case . . .
Playing the Comparison Game
When our family performed a special music program on a Sunday night, the people in the congregation were effusive in their compliments. As I prayed after the concert, I found myself playing the comparison game.
“Why can’t our people be like these, Lord? Why did you call us to pastor a church full of nit-picky grumps? I’m tired of forgiving, loving, and blessing such ungrateful babies.”
Deep in my heart, His fatherly voice poked my conscience. “You think you’re better than they are.”
“You’re Right, Lord”
A sick feeling clutched my belly. “You’re right, Lord,” I muttered, my eyes on the floor. “All this grumbling against the people we serve comes from a feeling of superiority, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, it does.”
Even though His voice had gentled, I knew there was more. “You say you want to minister to people and lead them to a deeper walk in Me. Yet you only want to help those who think you’re magnificent. The ones who need the help most are the whiney babies, not the spiritual giants. Who gave you the gifts to help people? If you do anything valuable, it came from Me. You are not the present, Jeanette, just the wrapping.”
Ouch. And thanks. I needed to hear that.
Our Wonderful Selves
If we don’t keep a watchful eye on our attitudes, we can deceive ourselves into thinking that God can’t operate His kingdom without our wonderful selves. We believe the lie that He works through us because we’re more talented or better qualified than our neighbor is. Then we look in the Book and see the types of people He most enjoys working with:
- Moses, who murdered a man and argued with God’s call on his life;
- Rahab, an ex- prostitute;
- David, who lied, murdered and committed adultery;
- Peter, who denied Jesus at His trial after boasting he’d follow Him to death;
- Paul, who hunted down Christians and had them thrown in jail.
None of these men and women was an exemplary God-follower. But He chose them anyway. He wrapped His word, His provision and the ancestry of the Savior in these imperfect packages. And He continues to do so today.
It’s Not About Me; I’m Only the Wrapping
It’s not the number of gifts we possess that makes us usable in the kingdom; it’s how yielded we are to the Holy Spirit and how humble our attitude is. He’s the one who inspired the Apostle Paul to write, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable. (I Corinthians 12: 21, 22, NKJV)”
Now when I sing, write, or speak I remind myself that Jesus is the present and I’m only the package. The comparison game loses its power over me, and I’m free to minister to others out of love for Him.