I think sometimes regular people like you and me can put ourselves in the awkward position of comparing ourselves to others, especially those who have gone before us. We might compare our mundane life with the glamorous version of another’s life. For example, some might say, “Francis was clearly holier than me, so there’s no way I can impact the world for Christ like he did!” Others might lament, “Clara is bright and loving, no wonder she did so many great things for the Kingdom!” ENOUGH!
Yes, Francis and Clara did incredible things for the Kingdom of God. I am so thankful that they left a remarkable example of faithfulness to Christ in word and deed.
But dear reader, please hear me. Don’t compare your situation to the life of another. You will never be like those two, so be more like the person God wants you to be.
These great saints were not miraculously gifted with more spirituality than you. Sure, they might have worked harder in the sense that they carved out time to be with God, that can certainly be said. But the gifts that God has given you can be used in incredible ways. You or I might not be the next great reformer of the Church, but that’s OK.
Be who God wants you to be, be the person who is rooted in Christ.
You see, God wants you to honor him with your talents. I will never match the feats of Bach or Michelangelo, and I need to come to terms with that. What I need to do is be faithful in what God has given me, and use my life to honor him. I don’t necessarily need to model my life after Francis or Clara, stripping myself of all my possessions and roaming the countryside preaching.
We don’t have to be radical like that to be faithful to the gospel of Jesus. As I have mentioned before, God deals with us individually and not all in the same way. While some might need to sell all they have and move into an inner city somewhere, others will need to remain in their jobs in their respective industries. As Matthew Lee Anderson wrote in a recent article in Christianity Today, we can embody a radical faith when we travel like the “Good Samaritan” and help those we come across. We come across people in need every day, whether it is in a corporate job, a vacation to Yosemite, or a short-term missions trip. And it is in those times that we can do something radical, taking the time to stop and help those we might meet and reach out to them in “quiet, practical, and loving ways.” That is how we can honor God in our lives.