“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11-12
Dear Lord, I pray that the Deeper Still teams across the nation and world would comfort each other and edify one another. I pray for unity and for the team members to honor those they serve along side. I pray for the team to honor and esteem highly in love those who have been called to lead and for the teams to be at peace among themselves. I pray against any kind of spirit of comparison or disunity. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Last year when I served alongside Angela Braker at the Central Illinois retreat, Angela and I went together to pray through the rooms where the participants coming to the retreat would stay. I will never forget one of the things she prayed that day. She prayed against a spirit of comparison.
Let’s be honest. We all do it. We all have compared ourselves to others at one point in time. In fact, we probably did it today. Social media contributes to comparison being only a click away as we are bombarded with fiction portraying perfect families, flattering selfies (that only took 50 times to conjure the most complimentary photo), and all the while we check to see if we have as many “likes” as the person next on the scroll.
Comparison is a killer. It undermines unity. It offends friends. It hinders the work of the Lord.
Comparison focuses on self. The Lord wants us to focus on Him and others. The Lord spoke this to my spirit about two months ago.
IT’S NOT ABOUT COMPETING. IT’S ABOUT COMPLETING.
The Lord has gifted each of us with unique gifts, talents and abilities. He hand-picked the treasures He placed inside of us for His Kingdom purposes. Only He knows exactly what we need to fulfill His call and He promises that He has equipped us with the tools required (Hebrews 13:21).
He doesn’t give us all the same gifts. He gives us each what is needed to complete a beautiful picture as we work together as the body of Christ to advance the Kingdom of God.
Also, we are all at different places along this journey. We may have similar giftings, but some of us have only been walking and operating in our gifts for a short time and others have been practicing using their gifts for years. No one would compare a beginning piano player with an accomplished pianist. We all know it takes years of experience, practice, and learning.
Comparison is a game as old as Eve (Genesis 3:4). The enemy knows this tactic works to create division, confusion, and jealousy.
1 Thessalonians 5:11-12 exhorts us to comfort, edify, and recognize those who labor among us and to esteem highly in love those over us. We need each other. We can’t do this thing on our own. The last line of the verse sums up the result of completing rather than competing…Peace.