Last week was “Love Week” for my church, Elevation Church with Pastor Steven Furtick. He brought an amazing word from the Lord called “The God Of Also” and he challenged us to do something for someone else each day of the week. In his message he taught us that understanding the calling that God has placed on our lives also requires us to let go of the limited idea of who we believe He has created us to be. How do we “measure up?”
For most of my life I have struggled with the idea that I didn’t “measure up” compared to others. Though I was dedicated to the Lord when I was just an infant and raised in church my whole life, I constantly felt inadequate.
I even worked in the ministry teach-ing at a private Christian school and leading chapel services for 10 years, teaching “Kids for Christ” classes on Wednesday nights and Children’s Church on Sunday mornings, singing and leading worship in the church choir plus speaking at a couple ladies’ retreats but even with all these ministries, I would often struggle with the idea that I didn’t do enough or I didn’t “measure up” to others people’s expectations or God’s.
I had these ideas that I didn’t measure up because I wasn’t a boy. I had this misconception that men were stronger and smarter than women and we were put here on this earth to just serve them and I couldn’t “measure up.”
I felt like I couldn’t “measure up” because I wasn’t the prettiest. My skin was too white. I had too many freckles. My hair was too thin and of course I was never skinny enough, even though I weighed 102 pounds at 20 years old when I got pregnant with my daughter. I remember having her and still weighing 122 pounds. I was devastated and so disgusted with myself but now I’d kiss the ground to go back to those days and that weight. It’s ironic that no matter what size I was, I always wanted to be smaller. The sad reality was I could never “measure up” in my mind.
I struggled constantly because I wasn’t the perfect daughter or sister or mother that I thought I should be.
I just couldn’t “measure up” to what I thought I should be. Now I realize I was never supposed to measure up to all those ideas and concepts. I needed to let go of who I thought I was and who I thought I needed to be and just trust God. Yes, He had created me and He would make sure that “measured up” to become what He created me to be. I had a limited idea of who I was. I placed too much value on everything external and not enough of what was internal. I looked in the mirror and saw what was, but He looked and saw what would be.
Today, I still fail miserably if I try to “measure up” in my own eyes. Instead I have to see myself through His eyes. Helen Keller was an amazing American author and educator who despite her disabilities of being blind and deaf, accomplished extraordinary feats. She stated “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but I still can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
What is the one thing that I can do? What is the one thing that you can do?
I’m relearning that no matter what challenges I face or how much I will not “measure up” isn’t an excuse for what I can do. If I look around I can see how to be a blessing to someone else. I can break the power of lack and greed by just giving of myself. What is the one thing that I can do to meet someone’s needs or to brighten their day?
Can I bake, or paint, or even write some words of encouragement? Can I physically do something? Can I be kind to a stranger, better yet can I be kind to my own family and friends?
So I figured out the things I could do this past week. I mowed my disabled neighbor’s yard. I bought a new expecting young mom some baby outfits. I bought lunch for my boss. I supported a new author by buying her new memoir. I made cookies for my mom on Sunday, then brought her dinner on Tuesday when she didn’t feel well. I bought my best all need to know that someone cares. We need to feel like we “measure up” but we need to see how we “measure up” through the eyes of our Savior.
Our purpose is what we are passionate about. What are you passionate about? What makes you excited? What makes your heart smile when you do it for someone else?
Remember one single act of kindness can create a domino effect throughout your community and your life. Rather than focusing on what you can’t do, find that one thing that you can do and do it! I promise you’ll be glad that you did and you will “measure up” in His eyes.