No matter what you have going on, when your adult daughter wants to go to painting class with you – you respond with a resounding, “YES!” So off we went to paint some pretty, pretty pumpkins. I wanted my painting to look exactly like the original – no tweaking or adding my own flair this time. But replicating an original is not for the amateur painter, at least not this amateur! We feathered the background, shadowed the table and outlined the pumpkin. Finally, it came down to making the pumpkin come to life with shadows and lines. I remembered from Art101 in college that this is where an artist really shines. And that’s where I flopped. I thought it looked OK until I took a peek at everyone else’s. Really some of theirs didn’t look exactly like the original either, but I still thought they were better than mine. Finally, after lots of tweaking and sighing, I gave in to my supposed defeat. Mine looked nothing like the original, which of course meant it wasn’t as good as the original. Still, I left smiling, happy to have had a fun evening with my girl (but kind of bummed about my painting).
The next morning, I walked past my painting and thought, hmm it is kind of cute. Then I walked through again and thought, I do like it better today. Each time I looked at the painting, I liked it a little more. At home, with no one else’s painting to compare mine to, I really liked what I had done. I studied it over and discovered I was finally, truly satisfied with my creation.
Can you see yourself in this story?
Girls, this is what we do to ourselves way too often. There is nothing wrong with admiring someone else’s gifts or their talents or their style or their traditions or anything else. It’s ok to look around you and think what a nice house, what a great family, what well behaved children, what a beautiful painting etc. The problem is when we look at someone else and we try to mimic who they are and what they have and how they are gifted. Because we are not them. And when we try to be who we aren’t it only leads to disappointment every single time.
You see God has gifted and blessed each of His children in different ways. To him our differences don’t make one better than the other. God loves us and he wants what’s best for us and that doesn’t always equate to our worldly version of equality. When we were kids, my sisters and I made our momma count out our chips so that each of us had the exact same amount. That’s the worldly view of equality I’m talking about! While it worked for me and my sisters (even though it probably wore on Momma’s nerves), that’s not the way the Kingdom economy works.
If we want to live loved – the way God intends for us to live - we have to recognize our own talents and our own blessings first and be grateful for them. To do that we need some truth spilled into our hearts.
We are loved.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
We are chosen.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Col 3:12
We are co heirs with Jesus
So, you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. Galatians 4:7
We are gifted
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.
We are called
And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.
We are children of God
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12
Let’s remember these truths every day, friends. Write them on your hearts, post them on your mirror and celebrate who you are in Christ instead of trying to replicate what God created in someone else. Because that, sweet sister, that is how we live loved.