November 25, 2019

Yesterday, Brian was scheduled to preach in all the worship services. I prayed for him because that is a lot.

When I walked into the sanctuary prior to the first worship service, I saw people reading their bulletins. When everyone realized Brian was preaching, the atmosphere turned from reverent to giddy. There were tears of joy, people started high fiving each other, someone yelled, “Praise the Lord” and Cathy started waiving around her offering envelope like it was a cheerleader’s pompom.

After the service, everyone made a point of shaking my hand and telling me how much they enjoyed Brian’s sermon.

The people in the second service had a similar response.

I didn’t make it to the third worship service because I was teaching Sunday school.

After it was over, as I walked through the church, Brett and Brian C., made sure to tell me how great Pastor Brian’s sermon was. As I walked into the courtyard, Laura and David walked up and told me how much they enjoyed the sermon. Then, when I walked into a restaurant for lunch, Mike called out across the room that Brian did a wonderful job. And yesterday afternoon, Carl sent a text saying Brian had done marginally adequate, which in our church, is the highest compliment anyone can give.

I was beginning to get a little vexed.

While you may not have an associate pastor that is better preacher than you are, more than likely, as you compare yourself to others, you will see that someone, somewhere, somehow is more accomplished and successful. Don’t worry about it. Life’s too short to be comparing yourself to others.

God made you for a specific reason. God was intentional in creating your gifts and attributes. Let God use them for His glory and know that God is also using others to make this world a better place. That’s what truly matters.

But if you do find yourself irritated over the success of someone else, remember the words that Paul wrote to the Christians in Galatia: “Each person should test their own work and be happy with doing a good job and not compare themselves with others.” (Galatians 6:4 CEB)

God will use you in a remarkable way if you let him. That’s worth celebrating.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, today I offer myself to you without reservation or hesitation. Please use me for your purpose. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Don’t get wrapped up in the small picture. God sees the big picture and we all have a part to play.

Also, now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I am happy that Brian is such a good preacher. It is clear that after hearing my magnificent sermons for years, they have rubbed off. He is truly blessed to work with me.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins