One of the most contagious and dreaded diseases that is spreading in epidemic proportions throughout women's ministry is the plague known as "comparison."
"You're ministry is bigger than mine."
"Their decorations must have cost thousands of dollars!"
"She was on the cover of Charisma magazine! She must have a great PR team!"
"Only older women come to my gatherings ... her meetings are filled with millennials."
"Why doesn't my ministry grow like hers does?"
"She is speaking at Women of Faith and Joyce Meyer Conferences. I am only speaking at churches of 200!"
"Her books are best-sellers. I can't even get a publishing contract."
The germs of comparison will always rob you of the joy of daily ministry moments and also cause amnesia concerning the victories that you have experienced, both small and large.
Comparison is like a bothersome rash ... once it is scratched, it will spread and often become an out of control infection of the body.
You are you and that is enough ... that is more than enough!
Your gifts and talents belong to no one else but you. God has equipped you with His heart, His mind and His creativity to minister to those under your watch.
When I am tempted to compare myself to others with larger ministries and then feel the seeds of jealousy begin to grow in my heart, I default to five healthy actions.
First of all, I lay down everything that I am at the feet of Jesus. I remind myself that "my" ministry is not mine at all but that it belongs to Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of my faith.
Secondly, I count my blessings. I remember all of the marvelous things that are happening in the ministry that I have been given. I make a list of the women who have been personally touched this year and I applaud the goodness and the faithfulness of God.
I thank God for the doors that He has, indeed, opened for me and celebrate all that He has done.
Thirdly, I remind myself that ministry is not a race nor is it an Olympic event. We are all victors when we have given ourselves to the call of the Gospel because He causes us to walk in triumph! Ministry is not a competition; our God is big enough to open doors for everyone. His power is not limited to two or three mega-stars but is spread throughout the Body as He accomplishes His great work at this moment in history.
The fourth thing that I often do is that I ask myself, "What I can learn from those who are doing a great work for Christ?" Are there strategies that they are utilizing that would be a blessing to me? The wisdom of learning from one another and carefully evaluating strategic components of another's ministry should never be ignored.
And finally, I pray. I ask God for His will and for His ways in my life. I open myself up for His correction and His direction.
"Praying at the same time for us as well that God will open up to us a door for the Word so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ" (Col. 4:3).
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, will be released on August 1. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming.
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