Comparing ourselves to others in ministry is very dangerous. It can stifle our ability to see the big picture. To have the confidence, our two small fish are just as important as five thousand fish.
We all know that comparison is a killer and a liar. It kills our confidence and lies about who we need to be. It doesn’t just happen in personal comparing, but it also happens in ministry. We all want to please God, and because we are human, we need constant approval. When ministry is succeeding and hearts are being changed, we feel validation that we are on the right track.
However, what do we do if our validation isn’t immediate? What if it is the long game? We don’t always see the work of the Lord right off, and we become discouraged. We feed the lie that what we are doing isn’t important or our talents are small in comparison.
My husband is a dreamer. He dreams so big! I, on the other hand, tend to dream small. The two of us make an interesting pair. Here he is dreaming about these elaborate future plans, and I’m totally cool with the way life is now. Sometimes, this can discourage me. I think, because I don’t have these dreams of grandeur, maybe his dreams are more important.
I tend to surround myself with people who have drive, goals, and energy. They are my opposite and make me feel complete…but I tend to also compare myself. Believing that I need to be like them, I try and try to dream big. To make my life big. I see God using them. Their talents, their prayers, their dreams and I think, “How can God ever use such smallness?” I’m not the greatest artist to live, I don’t have the most beautiful singing voice, I’m not the most social person, or the most eloquent writer.
Ministry work can be tough. Especially if we have the mindset like I have with my husband. It’s hard enough to combat the enemy when we are in the trenches of ministry. Let alone, combatting the lies of comparison. There are those who have many talents and resources to carry out massive Kingdom work. Then there are those of us out of the spotlight, supporting in ways that are much smaller. It’s easy to say, “I don’t do it for my glory but God’s glory.” And, that’s true. However, it can sometimes feel like our work isn’t really that beneficial. It’s not that important. We really aren’t bringing much for the advancement.
I feed lies like this. ALL. THE. TIME.
“You’re so small.”
“Your talents are worthless.”
“What do you think you are doing?”
“You’re benefiting from someone else’s dream.”
I was having a season where these lies were so loud. It was so hard to tune them out and the louder they got, the more I believed them. I decided I was through fighting these lies on my own. So, I hit THE book, to figure out what God says. I was perusing the Bible, when I landed on John 6. There’s that precious little boy with the 5 loaves and 2 fishes. He didn’t have much, but he had the perfect tools for Jesus to preform a miracle!
Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?
John 6:9, NIV
Nothing’s too Small
Without a doubt, Jesus would have found a way to feed the five thousand had the boy not been there. But, he was there with his little meal and Jesus used him in a mighty way. None of the glory went to the boy. All went to Jesus.
So, here’s our lesson: we offer up what we have, lay it on the altar, and ask Jesus to be glorified. It’s so simple, why do we make it difficult? He makes miracles out of the smallest things. There’s nothing too small for Him. We can have confidence our work has value, because God crafted each of us for specific roles in ministry.
Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.
2 Corinthians 3:4-5, NIV
Read the Bible to elderly folks at a nursing home. Sing songs to our children. Prayer is a small act, with massive results. Create tiny scripture reminders to bless others. Write an encouraging letter and send it snail-mail. It doesn’t take much to show others how GOOD God is.
I’ve really been evaluating what small quirks God has woven inside of me. I believe these are the tools he has equipped me with, to help advance the Kingdom. I would love to encourage you to evaluate your uniqueness too. These are your tools; your ministries. Live them out, find ways on a daily basis to breathe life into them. Allow God to take your two fishes and multiply them for His abundant glory.
Have you been comparing your Kingdom work against someone else’s? What do your two little fish look like? What are your unique ministries?