The other day I caught myself in the act of comparing my faith and holiness to another woman’s.
Her long, wavy hair, modest yet stylish outfit, and ability to lead a group of others so well made me jealous. It made me want to be like her. In that moment I was already thinking of ways I could switch up my wardrobe or practice speaking like her in order to be a better leader and a better Christian.
I stopped mid-thought and realized that instead of being jealous of her accomplishments, beauty and faith walk, I should be rejoicing with her.
Why would I try to be like another woman when all she is doing is trying to be like Jesus?
I realized in that moment that I did not truly find my identity in Christ alone. When we are caught in a comparison trap, we tend to think that the only way out is to become more like the person we are envying. But in fact the complete opposite is true. God made us all unique in the way we love others and use our gifts, and if we all refused to embrace our own purpose and talents, the work of the Kingdom would never be fulfilled on this earth.
The problem with trying to be like other Christians is this: we are putting our efforts into becoming something that is human, and therefore broken. It is only when we focus our lives on becoming more like Jesus can we embrace our calling and live a life of holiness and abandoned pursuit of God.
When we look toward Jesus to tell us who we are, we can live freely with an open heart instead of an anxious heart.
We will never reach a place of contentment and security in our identity until we stop trying to become like other Christians and start focusing our lives on Jesus and who he is.
When we strive to become like another Christian, we are ultimately basing out lives on becoming like another sinner. We will reflect whoever we focus our lives on, inclusive of all flaws and shortcomings that come with human nature. And if we focus on something with our entire being, we will draw closer and closer to that focal point. But this can also be good news.
Just as a mirror pointed at the sun reflects back beams of light into the world, so do we, as children of God, reflect His light into the world when we point our entire being toward him.
As a church community we need to stop striving to be like one another. We must end jealousy and instead rejoice in the identity we find in Jesus. Individuals are flawed, including those who make up the church community. It’s time we come together and encourage one another to seek Christ, wholeheartedly and unashamedly.