Anonymous asked: Hi Unka Glen! One of my biggest struggles, is comparing myself with others. I recently discovered that I tend to seek the approval of others, and I have a hard time accepting who God has made me to be. The truth is, sometimes I regret who I am, and I think I would be okay with not being myself. The pain of envy weighs heavy on my heart, if I’m not careful. How can I better trust God in this area?
Unka Glen answered: You should totally trust God for you be like Ghandi, ‘cause that dude was awesome. I’ll bet he never had problems finding jeans that fit. Or you could be like one of those Olympic athletes, I mean, they’re in really good shape. You could ask God to make you taller, shrink your feet, and make it so your earlobes hang down evenly (if you just checked your earlobes in the mirror, you lose a thousand cool points).
The thing about envy is, it never really finishes the sentence. “If I only I had a better body”, “if only I knew as much Bible as her”, whatever it is, go on and finish the sentence. It’ll sound shallow and silly, but go ahead and finish it. If I knew as much Bible as her… everyone would think I’m cool, and they’d want to listen to my thoughts, and I would never be lonely, and I’d feel all holy all the time, and hot Christian guys would come over to my house to and fix things with their shirts off.
The other problem with envy is that Christians fake off. A lot. A whole lot. Like really, really fake. Super fake. I don’t mean that they’re acting hypocritically, if you ask the average Christian, they’ll tell you that they aren’t perfect, and that they have struggles like everyone else. By fake, I mean that they’re responding to a Christian culture that tells them to put their best foot forward all the time. And they do so, right up to the point of outright deception.
If I could illustrate it this way, I had a man who worked in our ministry go on to be a pastor of a nice, sweet suburban middle-class church. He was used to dealing with murderers, thieves, and criminals of every stripe. After taking his new pastoral job, he called me, overwhelmed, and explained that these suburbanites were into just as much sin as the gangbangers, addicts, and ex-cons he used to work with.
Sure, the drugs may have been prescription instead of illegal narcotics, but the spousal abuse and sexual deviance and parental neglect were just as present in this suburban church as they were in the darkest inner-city ghetto. A lot of what you envy is just a whitewashed exterior, seeing what’s underneath would change your impression considerably.
But forget all that.
The truth is, we need you to be you. We don’t have any use for your best imitation of some Christian author or megachurch pastor. The Kingdom needs someone like you to reach people like you. That’s why God made you. Your life is God’s response to a need in the world. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
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