If I could give you one gift for the upcoming new year, I would give us all supernatural blinders. These blinders would give us the superpower to keep our focus on Jesus and the abundant life He came to give us (John 10:10). We could see and be involved in other people’s lives, but the blinders would make it impossible for us compare ourselves or any part of our lives to theirs.
We could celebrate their successes and mourn with them when they fail. We could listen as they share their concerns, fears, mistakes, and sins without judging or feeling superior. We would become a really good friend to more people because comparison would not be in the way of our relationships.
Comparison also keeps us from authentic relationship with Jesus too. When we compare ourselves with others we are not being the person He made us to be. We feel less than and insecure—like Jesus didn’t do a good enough job when He made us.
When we compare ourselves with others we are not fully ourselves so we don’t give our all in our relationship with Jesus. We don’t give our all towards what He’s given us to do either. We don’t feel what we have to offer is as good as someone else’s so we either don’t show up or if we do show up we hang back, not giving our best. Giving our best for Jesus almost always requires taking a risk—stepping out in faith. Doing this requires forgetting ourselves and giving our full focus and effort. We can’t do this if we are looking around at everyone else.
As a result, we hold back, never embracing everything He intended for us to be or the life He has for us. We’re like the Israelites when they entered the Promised Land. It was theirs, but after they conquered enough of the land to be comfortable they stopped. They never took possession of everything God gave them.
However, when our focus is only on Jesus. . .
~We don’t feel inadequate. We are content in His love.
~We don’t wonder if we should be doing something else. We are good right where we are, knowing when He has something for us to do He will let us know in a way we can hear.
~And we can hear what Jesus says to us. We are not distracted by the voices of the culture that say we should be doing life their way.
~We know we are secure in Him and who He made us to be.
~We have peace and joy.
~We have courage and strength to do what Jesus calls us to. We don’t have self-doubt just because others are doing something different, in a different way, or on a different timeline.
~We don’t strive. We rest in Him.
I’m asking God to give us all spiritual blinders for 2020. Let’s embrace this gift by always going to Jesus first. Let’s see ourselves and our lives the way He does—through His love and sacrifice—not that we are worthy, but live in light of both so we don’t waste either. Let’s soak in His love and acceptance. Let’s do the next thing He gives us to do bravely, knowing He has us.
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.