Saturday, July 7, 2007

You Follow Me

"If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me." John 21:22

This is a very powerful verse and one that God had to literally smack me with a few years ago. Now when I begin to compare myself to others, this verse comes to mind and I've learned to shut that thought process down. But not without my share of self-condemnation and self-pity.

God gives us parables and testimonies of other people to inspire us and give us hope. "If God can do it for her, He can do it for me." Yes, He can, but it doesn't mean He will. And it doesn't mean that He'll do it the same way or to the same level. Because the condition of my heart wasn't right, I turned these testimonies that were meant for good into something evil by allowing Satan to fuel envy, jealousy, bitterness, and anger in me. God had to send me through a spiritual fire to burn these evil roots out of me. Then He tested me to see if I'd learned my lesson.

Writers go through this when they compare themselves to other writers, their contracts to other writers' contracts, their publisher to another publisher, agent to agent, and the list goes on. I would get so discouraged to hear that a writer who had only written a book or two got offered a publishing contract, while I was on book number four or five. Last year I heard about a writer who had written twenty books just got her first contract offer. I felt happy for her, but sorry it had taken so long. I asked God why did it take so many years for some and so few years for others to experience their dream of publication. His answer was the verse John 21:22.

When we look at others to learn from them, then we are doing well. When we allow other achievers to inspire us, then that is good. But when we compare ourselves to them, we need to stop it. God has a purpose and a plan for every child and He loves us all the same. He wants to bless us with the desires of our hearts, but not before we have been prepared and ready to receive them.

The change in me was not instant. It was gradual, but I can see the progress, and I'm so thankful for what God has accomplished. Now He's teaching me when to share my good news with people. While it may be tempting to shout my good news from the roof tops, it isn't necessarily His will. Some of my friends may not be ready to hear it. Some may be where I was a few years ago. I don't know the condition of their hearts, but God does. I need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and let Him lead me. Trust Him. He knows what is best for you and I.


  1. Great post, Jenn, and how true it is. I think women, by nature, tend to compare themselves. Dare I say, get catty. But God is doing a work in all of us all the time. Teaching us to obey. Conforming us to His will. Jenn, I know neither you nor I began writing inspy. But God changed our hearts, conformed us to His will. I'm so glad He did.
    Thanks for the verse.

  2. Jenn,
    I'm so glad you posted this. Very insightful. And true.
    Thank you.

  3. A wonderful thing to help us all continue to focus on the path God has set before us and not to worry over someone else's.