One in four millennials believe that they will be famous by the time they are twenty-five. This scary stat was read out at last years Q Commons. Popularity, gauged by followers or public recognition is fast becoming a thirst that is never quenched.
“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3 )
We so easily swing from one end of the pendulum to the other: “Did you see that? I am amazing!….Don’t look at me, I am nothing”
When I stepped back from a leadership role that I had loved and embraced for almost as long as I had been a Christian the transition was tough. Although my identity was not in what I did, I still found significance in it. I felt valued as I brought who I was to the body of Christ. When I stepped back it was uncomfortable. For a while (though I didn’t realise it) I wanted to run, to dissolve into the crowd, to move away and start again.
I found myself scrolling though Instagram potentially looking for a new church- interstate or across the seas, I would scroll and await the Holy Sprit’s prompt to pack my bags and go- to build somewhere where no one would know my name, where I had no past, where I was unknown.
The Holy Spirit did speak eventually. But instead of ‘pack and go’ He reminded me of the promises that lay before me- here and now, at home, to stay:
“wait for what the Father promised: the promise you heard from me.” (Acts 1:4 b)
And then next day I read:
“Every word I’ve spoken to you will come true on time—God’s time.” Luke 1:20
Jesus was speaking to me reminding me of the promises He had given me years earlier. Now they carried a new freshness.
He is kind like that.
Promises aside, I now needed to wrestle out my pride, my search for significance in the known, the comfortably-uncomfortable that I had been familiar for so long.
…do not think of yourself more highly than you ought…
My prayer: ‘Father let me live for your face alone…’
The crowd is fickle. The same crowd that cried ‘Hosanna’ cried ‘crucify him.’ The crowd that called Paul a murderer also called him a God. Why do we place so much value on what the crowd thinks? The crowd’s view changes. God doesn’t.
It perplexes me that an 18 year old vegan uni student in Amsterdam can have in excess of 31K followers on Instagram, while someone that I see as incredibly gifted in the area of photography can have 31. One posts pictures of her lunch the other captivates my imagination. Who decides our worth?
My prayer: ‘Father let me live for an audience of One…’
And if my audience becomes more than one I want it to include my family- that they would encounter my love and attention and know that they are my significants. That I would BE significant to them as opposed to being seen as significant in the eyes of a distant crowd that changes their mind with the wind.
Woe to he who wins the world but overlooks those under his own roof…
This is my new foundation. I would walk though the fire again and again if it would mean that I would hold onto its value. I never want to lose sight of what it truely important. I pray that I would think soberly of myself and my role in the world, that I would see myself simply and honestly- just a girl, a daughter, a friend, a mother, a wife, daughter of the King.
The ‘measure of faith‘ that this verse refers to the gifts that we have been entrusted with by our Heavenly Father.
These gifts are not ours but His. When we view ourselves with sober judgement it is neither here not there what gift we have been given- the desire is just to use it. To pour it out for Him, that He would get the glory, that others would come to know Him, that by using our gifts we would be drawn closer to Him.
We reveal our measure of faith when we step out and use our gifts not for recognition but with the sober knowledge that He has entrusted us each with a something to bring into this world. Our faith is strengthened as we draw near to Him with a desire for direction: “How is it that I can best use what You have given me for Your glory?”
It’s interesting though, that the more we step out and grow in our gift, the more we risk the crowd telling us how wonderful we are, pride can be sneaky.
True worship is faceless.
There’s a constant tension between humility and pride when it comes to bringing our gift. It feels easier to hide- no critiques, no fans. But Jesus calls…
My prayer: ‘Father let my worship become faceless…’
That in all I do He would be remembered and I would be forgotten. That others would receive the credit, He would receive the glory and my life would be lived for Him alone.
I am reminded of the moving words by Marianne Williamson- ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate...’ that Nelson Mandela read out in 1994 in his inaugural address. You can read more about that in my post: the Glory of God is man fully alive.
It’s time we were bold enough to bring our gifts to our world. Not for results or fame, not for likes or followers but simply because we were created by Him on purpose for purpose.
How could you be bold and bring your gift in humility today?
Would love to hear your thoughts,
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