By Hannah Sweet
I am of the mindset that I can do anything I set myself to do, and there is a lot of biblical evidence to support such a claim, not just the words of my mother running circles in my brain. Take a look at Philippians 4:13, which states: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I know that this is a subject you’ve heard from me before; but now more than ever we need to remember that we are capable of impossible things. When I was young I never really took much notice in being able to do something better or worse than my peers; in fact it wasn’t until much later, in the birth of the age of social media, that I started to notice that, while I could do anything, I couldn’t do anything as well as some people. That left me feeling a little – well less than. It’s an easy trap to fall into, comparing yourself to others, especially when we see ultra-filtered, perfectly snapped moments of someone else’s life. I have recently spent a lot of time feeling “less-than” by c0mparing myself to those I see on my various feeds. But as I was becoming filled more and more with these negative feelings of worthlessness, disparity, and just a general feeling of not being enough God reminded me that while I can do anything as long as I remember to give him the glory, that there will usually be someone else who can do it better than me. I was given this reminder as I was searching for the inspiration for this devotional, through the song Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better, from the musical Annie Get Your Gun. In the musical, based on the real life of sharp-shooter Annie Oakley, she believes very firmly that she can do anything better than Frank Butler, the man who would one day become her husband, to the point they argue about it, in song, going back and forth about all the things they can do better than one another. Now, recently the youth fellowship I lead had their end-of-the-year lock-in and the theme of the lock-in was “Game of Games”. Yes, this sounds like just a bunch of nonsensical fun, but it wasn’t. Each game was meant to bring out their spiritual gifts and make it easier to spot spiritual gifts in others. So, while yes, I can do anything because I have Christ, I have my own special gifts that I excel in; but it isn’t just me! Everyone has spiritual gifts they can use in their journey with Christ! YES, THAT INCLUDES YOU! Aren’t sure what yours are? Ask someone what they admire about you, because nine times out of ten their response will be your spiritual gift, and you might be surprised what others point out to you as your spiritual gifts. The point I’m driving at is that even though you can do anything, God gives us all special gifts that He meant for us to use to do His work to the best of our ability; and that it is okay if our lives don’t compare to those we see on social media, because I’ll let you in on a little something. That perfect body, perfect family, perfect whatever you see online, that’s only one snapshot out of billions that didn’t make it up. Honestly, I’d rather be one of the billion that didn’t make it online, the in-between moments. The flaws we have, or the ways we don’t seem to measure up to those around us are the things that make us special, and never forget that what makes you special comes directly from God; ON PURPOSE!
Dear God. Thank you for giving me spiritual gifts that I alone can use to honor you. Thank you for my ability to see the gifts in others. Please help me to appreciate those gifts instead of filled with jealousy that you didn’t give me more than what I have. Thank you for my insecurities, and the ability to define those as a part of what makes me special in Your eyes. Amen.