I should be…

Who determines this answer - The World or God?

Should?

So many times I think I would like to be the creative type. You know this person. The one who can MacGyver a piece of twine, a few berries, and a candle into the most beautiful holiday tablescape you can imagine. Sometimes I can pull something off, but let’s just say I’ll never have my own Etsy shop…

Yet, every time I see a post about someone’s craft store or a new little creation that somebody made, I feel this pull. Like, I should be able to do that, right? Or, maybe if I worked a lot harder I could get that skill?

When I was younger, I would have said, ‘Absolutely!’ But, now that I am a little older, (and hopefully a bit wiser), I now realize that I don’t think that’s how God made me.

How many times have I said that to my kids?

That’s just how God made you…’

Way too many times to count. And every time, I expect them to hear it, believe it, accept it, and move on. Why can’t I?

Today I turn 42. At this point, I really should be able to accept the fact that I cannot spend an hour with some beads and string and crank out 50 beautiful necklaces to sell on Etsy. Or, make my name in the photography world with my limited knowledge and lacking ability behind the lens of my camera.

That’s just how God made me.

I need to hear it, believe it, accept it, and move on because we are all made differently. And, because we are all different, it stands to reason that not everyone should have the same talents and skills.

But, that doesn’t stop my head from going to a different place and thinking I should have certain qualities or abilities…

The World says?

As I wrote in another post, (Freedom Series: Worldly Priorities), it can be way too easy to let The World tell me whom I am supposed to be and what I should be doing. During my quiet times over the last week, I have been reading a book by Matthew Kelley, Resisting Happiness. Once again, God has shown his irony and how His timing of what I should  be doing is perfect.

Just the other night at Bible Talk, we had a discussion about how sometimes our idolatry of the opinion of others gets in our way of doing what we truly should. That was really convicting for me, as it has been a lifelong struggle. Whether it be my clothes or handbags, or my choice of actions or words, I have far too often fallen into the comparison trap.

So, today, as I was reading the next chapter in Kelly’s book, this sentence stood out among the rest on the page:

The world compares me to my neighbor, but God compares me to my former self.

 

Now, at this point, if I were to compare the me of today to the me of 10 years ago, I think I have made progress. I am far from the person God wants me to be,  but I am trying to do more of the things God is calling me to. And, I am hoping God is pleased with the changes He sees in me.

So, I was doing ok at that point – perhaps I should have stopped reading there…

I say?

But, Kelly took it one step further. And, this is the part I am struggling with –

“We all fall into the trap of comparing ourselves with the person we think we should be.” (Emphasis mine.)

How many times have thoughts like these popped into your head?

Well, now that I’m 20, I should be…
Now that I’m 40, I should be…
I’m married, so now I should be…
Now that I’m a parent, I should be…

And, the list goes on and on.

This is the downward spiral that I believe every single person falls into at some point – at least once.

(I have been on that tornado slide more often that I would like to admit.  Remember me – the ‘Ultimate Crafter’ who was supposed to be making my fortunes beading or crafting or in photography??)

But, when you really think about these statements, who are you comparing yourself to? To the idea of that ‘perfect person’ put out there by The World? Or, what God has in store for you?

So, what if you’re not happy or feeling like you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing? Then what? What should you be doing??

God says.

Have you asked Him? After all, He has it all figured out.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

He knew us and His plan for every single one of us long before we were ever a twinkle in anyone’s eye. God told Jeremiah,

“I knew you before you were formed within your mother’s womb; before you were born I sanctified you and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.” Jeremiah 1:5

And, although He was speaking to Jeremiah, He knew me – and you – too. He has a purpose for every single person.

If we ask Him for guidance, He’ll give it to us.  It might not be what we had in our minds, or what The World would have us believe is how things should be, but He knows us better than we know ourselves.  He’s got this.  He’s got us.

When I think about it that way, how dare I second guess His plan and think about what I should be able to do?? He is God. He is above all and knows all, and it is completely incomprehensible to me.

This plan of mine is not what you would work out, neither are my thoughts the same as yours! For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours, and my thoughts than yours. Isaiah 55:8-9

What I learned and am still learning…

I’m feeling pretty convicted.

Because it is my birthday today, I went back and read my post from last year.

I had written that perhaps 2017 was the year that I would finally submit. Not so much… But, even though I have not fully submitted, I think I have made some progress. So, when God compares me to my former self, hopefully He will be pleased.

God really does know best. I realize that. It has never really been a knowledge problem. After all, I have told my kids that since they were born.

Instead, it is more of a will issue. Namely, me surrendering my will and exchanging it for His. I need to submit to His plans and what He says.

Praying this will be my year to do more of what He wants. After all, it’s what I should be doing

Your thoughts?

What do you think? Have you ever fallen into the trap of comparing yourself to the World’s idea of should? What have you found has helped you switch your thinking from that of the World to God’s idea of what is best for you? I would love to hear your story and any verses that have helped you along the way. Can’t wait to hear from all of you!

 

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Leave a Reply