Now, before you jump to any conclusions and label me a heretic, let me explain.
Recently, it has become increasingly clear to me that some (maybe many) leaders covet and are envious of how God has graced others in certain ways (gifts and ministry fruitfulness) but not them.
God is, obviously, sovereign and distributes grace, gifts and degrees of fruitfulness as he deems best.
This leads me to the conclusion that the Lord is both the giver and withholder of grace. Not grace in a salvation or sanctification sense, but grace in gifts, fruitfulness and influence.
I guess the bottom line is that we want to be God and decide what we do/don’t get.
I have what I have and I am what I am by God’s grace. I, also, am not who I’m not and don’t have what I don’t have by that same grace. Is this making sense?
My daughter, Anna, saw a bumper sticker a few years ago that said: “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”
Do you ever get tired of trying to be like somebody else…preach like somebody else…lead like somebody else…love like somebody else…think like somebody else? I do!
I love Romans 12:6 in The Message: “Let’s just go and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” (emphasis mine)
Do you find it difficult at times (as I do) to be content with the grace God has bestowed on you in ministry and also content with the grace that you would like to have but that hasn’t been bestowed on you?
When Eli ( I Samuel 3) realized that things were not going well for him, his family and the country, he said, “It is the Lord. Let him do what seems good to him.” (verse 18) I firmly believe that a good share of the difficulties I experience in life and ministry would be substantially reduced if I could say from the bottom of my heart: “It is the Lord. Let him do what seems good to him.”…instead of saying in my heart: It is the Lord let him do what seems good to me!
Let me quickly add that contentment is not the same thing as complacency. I can be aggressive, biblically ambitious, have great dreams and, at the same time, be content with what is, until the Lord of the harvest changes my circumstances.
+ My fellow leader, how are you doing with:
- Being grateful for given grace?
- Being grateful for withholding grace?
- Being content, but not complacent?