Do you ever feel like God is doing amazing things in the lives of others while your life seems so plain? It can be easy to get distracted and even feel envious of what God is doing in someone else’s life, especially when we’re waiting for God to open up a new opportunity or bring a prophetic word to pass.
While other people seem to be living out their calling with such boldness and opportunity we feel while we’re stuck in the “in-between”.
Interestingly, at one point the apostle Peter, who ended up to be a major builder of the Church, found himself to be a bit distracted, too.
After Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead He appeared to the disciples and interacted with them a number of times. In John 21 we see a sweet exchange between Jesus and Peter as Jesus calls Peter back into ministry, after Peter had famously denied Him three times.
If Jesus appeared to you right now and was talking with you, even giving you direction in the ministry He has for you, you would probably be completely enthralled with what He was saying and you wouldn’t even notice anything or anyone else around you. Right?
And yet, in this passage, even in the moment of Peter interacting one-on-one with Jesus, and Jesus giving Peter direction and prophetic words about his life, Peter is distracted by one of the other disciples—John. Peter wants to know what God will do in John’s life.
“Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved (John)—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”
Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.” So the rumor spread among the community of believers that this disciple (John) wouldn’t die. But that isn’t what Jesus said at all. He only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” John 21:20-23
You can read the entire chapter of John 21 for the full context but the point of what Jesus is saying is that Peter needs to focus on Jesus and His calling and direction for his life, and not get distracted by what God is doing or may do in another person’s life.
Jesus tells Peter not to worry about what He has for John. “As for you, follow Me.”
Especially today with the internet and social media it can be very easy to compare our lives to others and to get discouraged and distracted; feeling “less than”. But there really is no room for comparing ourselves.
“Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.” Romans 12:4-6
“That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.” Galatians 5:26
This week let us be reminded that God has created each of us as an original. Let’s focus on Jesus and our assignment from Him, not get over-focused on what everyone else is doing! That distracts us from what God has for us to do. And we don’t have time to be distracted right now. We need to be loving people and sharing the good news with them. The enemy would want us to be distracted to get us side-lined and out of the race.
God has given each one of us unique personalities, gifts, talents and desires. Let’s make sure that we are focused on Jesus, following Him. And if we look to the right or the left let it be to cheer on our fellow believers as they follow Christ, too.