Monday, July 8, 2013

Nothing Can Compare

It's so easy to do. In fact, we all do it. Every day. In our age of social media, smart phones, and celebrity stalking, comparing our lives with the lives of others is a daily, if not hourly, occurrence. She's got the most amazing car, best wardrobehe works out all of the time, has the perfect familythey look so happy together, have such great photographic chemistryetc, etc, so on and so forth. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like are constantly shoving our inadequacy in our faces. It's hard to keep in touch with reality when we're busy floating through cyber spacestacking up our various failures. We need something to ground us, to keep our feet in the dirt and our heads out of the clouds.

Lets face it, most of those things our media friends havethat we so desperately long forare really just a giant prop in their lives anyway. She might have a sweet car, but she's drowning in the payments. He might have the perfect family, but he's really struggling with infidelity. They might be photogenic, but behind the smiles, they're broken inside. Nobody has a perfect life. Perfection is unattainable. We need to learn to be happy with what we have and who we are, because who we are is the exact individual that God created us to be. He put a lot of thought into each and every one of us. He calls us wonderful (Psalm 139:14). He doesn't care what kind of possessions we have or what we look like, he only cares where our hearts are (1 Samuel 16:7). We are precious and valuable to Him (Isaiah 43:4, Luke 12:7).

He made us different on purpose, He knew what he was doing. The Bible says that he knew us before we were even us. He knew exactly who we would be and what kind of gifts we would have (Jeremiah 1:5). Those gifts are our means of spreading His Glory, and we were each given a different array of gifts on purpose (Romans 12:6-7). The world simply wouldn't work if everyone had the exact same abilities. Think about it, if everyone were good with computers...who would be left to be an athlete? If everyone was a grammar Nazi...who would teach math? Don't question God's reasons for making you who you are. He knows what's up. I promise. He's much smarter than you or I.

Comparing yourself to someone else, someone who is blessed with different talents than yourself is unwise (2 Corinthians 10:12). Quit it! The world, the church, your community, wouldn't function properly if you were any different than you are now. Who cares what anyone else thinks? You are exactly the person God designed you to be. He thinks you're amazing just the way you are (and thought so before Bruno Mars did). His opinion is the only one of any sort of importance (Galatians 1:10).

I leave you with the words of Priscilla Shirer from The Resolution for Women: "You are the only you the world has." Embrace that. You're special. To the world, to God.

Always,
Jaci

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Just Say No To...

I know there are a lot of people out there that simply don't have a lot of time on their hands. Me either. I have work, church, softball, boyfriend, small group, gym membership, Bible study, another job, and a friend or two. Things that pile up and make for a busy life. A common topic in messages, study books, sermons, etc. lately has been the importance of time. I've been taught that, when I dip my toes into too many things at once, the tasks that I'm performing are being done inadequately. I'm not putting my all into the important things, because I'm spending too much time juggling everything. As a result, people and projects fall by the wayside. One way to relieve some of this stress in my life is to learn how to say no when I'm asked for a favor or invited to do something. It's a hard lesson to put into practice.

But I've realized, there's more to it than just learning to say no to others. I don't know if anyone else ever feels like this... But sometimes, the HARDEST person to say no to? Myself! There are just SO MANY things that I want to do! A lot of times, when someone invites me to do something, I struggle with saying "no" because I WANT to say "yes"!

This is where God comes in. I need to learn how to say "no" to the things that I want to do, and focus on the things that He wants me to do. Now, that doesn't mean I can never go to dinner with friends because I might not be witnessing to anyone at that exact moment. It just means that, if there is something more important I could be doing for Jesus at that moment, than I sure as heck better be picking that over pizza and Coke Zero. The only way to really know what God's will is for those moments is to spend time with Him. And here it comes, full circle. The more of my precious time I give to Him, the clearer he will make my path (Proverbs 3:6). If I give Him the time that I have so little of, He will show me what things I can eliminate from my day, thus freeing me from the stress of being overworked.

So simple, yet so difficult.

Don't let your own plans for your life get in the way of God's. He's always right, and He's in control.

Always,
Jaci