Solutions June 2018 - Page 48

• I am a citizen of heaven. (Philippians 3:20) • I have not been given the spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) • I am born of God, and the Evil One cannot touch me. (1 John 5:18) I Am Significant • I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of his life. (John 15:5) • I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit. (John 15:16) • I am God’s temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16) • I am a minister of reconciliation for God. (2 Corinthians 5:17–21) • I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm. (Ephesians 2:6) • I am God’s workmanship. (Ephesians 2:10) • I may approach God with freedom and confidence. (Ephesians 3:12) What would happen to your spiritual confidence, joy, peace, and contentment if you began to live out of the staggering truths contained in this list instead of seeking to achieve satisfaction by what you can accomplish in comparison with others? What if you stopped measuring yourself by what you see on social media and in the lives of your friends and let these truths shape your path? What would happen if you lived for the upward call and made that call, instead of horizontal comparison, the measure of your success? It would be hard at first. We so often feel that we are falling behind others. But a fast from comparison and a feast on biblical identity could move your life into a place of freedom and 48 • Solutions delight. You would be more present to those you love and begin to notice things happening around you. You would be able to celebrate the success of others and delight in their favor rather than feeling like you were being overlooked or diminished in some way. Your envy would melt into love as you realize you are on the same team and seeking the same goal, and you wouldn’t perceive others as a threat. You may even find you are being liberated from the tyranny of comparison in your life. Finding Your Call The second step toward breaking the spirit of comparison is to respond to God’s call on your life rather than living for the expectations of others. Living for others creates what Ronald Rolheiser calls a “cancerous restlessness.” He writes, “So much of our unhappiness comes from comparing our lives, our friendships, our loves, our commitments, our duties, our bodies and our sexuality to some idealized and non-Christian vision of things which falsely assures us that there is a heaven on earth. When that happens, and it does, our tensions begin to drive us mad, in this case to a cancerous restlessness.” We see this restlessness in Peter until he moves from fisherman to shepherd. And we see this same restlessness in our own lives. As a pastor I have seen people go to college and earn degrees in fields of study they care nothing about, all to keep their parents happy. I have seen others run from the call of God and become successful in business but