Raise your hand if you’ve got a girl tribe. You do? Good, me too! In fact, I’ve got a couple of them. I have my deepest-darkest-secret tribe – the ones who will take my secrets to their graves and help me bury the bodies of any who have wronged me. (I jest. Although I’m sure they would.) I have my work colleague tribe, church friends tribe, and of course, my writing/God-sized dreamer tribe.
One of the most important pieces of advice anyone has ever given me was to surround myself with people I wanted to be like. (Proverbs 13:20) This included leaders, mentors, writers, great women of faith, and my personal favorite: older ladies at church whose grown kids are now normal, non-crazy adults who love God.
Except sometimes, when you’re around great women who are doing great things, you start to feel less great than they are. Don’t misunderstand me… we’re not talking vanity or pride or even envy. We’re talking about those times when you’re with your tribe and you see all the great things they’re doing and all the great things you’re not doing, and that’s when the whispers start.
You’ll never be that great.
They’re way better than you.
You shouldn’t even bother.
You don’t know what you’re doing.
Your work doesn’t matter.
That last one hit me hard this year.
For years I’ve had this dream of writing Bible studies “for the rest of us.” For those who want to understand God’s Word but are new to the faith, new to studying, new to the stories that some folks seem to know like the back of their hands. I’d dabbled for years, writing on TOPICS in the Bible, but I really wanted to write studies on the full books in the Bible that everyday people could understand.
So this year, I started. My agenda was rocking with plans to write three, maybe four studies! I’d decided we’d start by studying Genesis together on my blog and Facebook page for the month of January. I had everything set up. A study plan, graphics, you name it. It was wonderful and glorious, and I felt emboldened and impassioned and all the everything. But about halfway through the month, I skipped a blog post day and some other pseudo-catastrophe happened and next thing you know, January was over and the Genesis study was only halfway written.
Boy, had I failed God.
Doubt didn’t just tiptoe in, it made itself at home and stayed awhile! I told myself that no one was reading, so what did it matter? I listened to the whispers that told me God was disappointed in me because I didn’t finish my goal in the time limit I’d told everyone we would finish. I told myself that there were better authors, better studies, and that people need paper books instead of an online study. I told myself that there was no use in finishing because God would have someone else lined up, ready to take my place.
Basically, every doubt Satan needed to feed me to get me to stop doing Kingdom work, he did!
Thankfully, an accountability partner wouldn’t let me give up. Yes, it was months later when my “January study of Genesis” started back up, but I’m grateful that she stepped in to remind me that Satan’s whispers should never be louder than God’s Truth. No, it wasn’t done the way I planned, but I’d begun again, and I’ve learned several lessons along the way for the next study.
And there will be a next study.
So the next time you’re tempted to believe the lies of the evil one as he tries to stifle your kingdom work by planting seeds of doubt, remember these truths.
1. Your work matters. Keep going. And keep your eyes on Christ, not on the competition, because when it comes to your God-given gifts and abilities it only matters that you do it, not that you do it better or worse than anyone else. Just do and let Him work out the details.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Romans 12:6-8 (NIV)
2. Your audience is unique. Yes, your friend may have an amazing talent and a huge following, but your talent and single solitary blog reader are important. You never know this side of heaven how your gift and talent was used to serve the Lord. And if you have no readers at all? No buyers, no fans, no likes, no whatever? Keep going, because it’s all for Christ anyway.
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
Ephesians 6:7-8 (NIV)
3. Your gifts and talents serve a purpose. At the end of the day, every Christian is given a gift. EVERY PERSON. That alone is a miracle. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 says,
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (NIV)
Let the truth in God’s word be the guiding light you need to keep going when your own light is dim. Encourage your tribe when they need it, and let them encourage you in your seasons of doubt. Because the real truth is you are amazing and ALL of you are needed.
Shared by: Karen Sipps