There are moments I read the words of the heavy hitters, you know the ones; Ann Voskamp, Jen Hatmaker, Lisa-Jo Baker, and I shrivel inside. Not because their words aren’t amazing, beautiful, life giving words. No, it’s because I would give anything to join their ranks. And so some moments I choke on the goodness because of my own ego.
A few years ago I started blogging and writing more seriously. The traffic of my blog grew, I was ambitious. I was reading Michael Hyatt and Jeff Goin’s blogs. I was learning how to build a platform. But something ugly was happening in my heart. I found my words becoming a competition. “Could I out grace, out beauty, that writer and attract an audience?” I hated what writing was becoming.
So I laid down my platform and wrote for the sake of the words and trusted that Jesus would cause them to find their mark. And occasionally they do and once in a while someone is kind enough to say so.
The only antidote to unhealthy ambition that I’ve found, is looking for feet to wash. Whatever it is that consumes us, gnawing away at our hearts, creating a hollow dissatisfied space, can only be put to rest by the compelling love of Jesus. The kind of transformational, imitating, love that turns us into his fellow foot washers.
Because “strength is for service, not status.” (Romans 15:1 MSG) Anything strong about my words comes from Jesus. Only when they are serving do the words really come alive and sing. As soon as I use them to leverage my own position they turn to dust. It’s all about the attitude.
Maybe you adore being a mama, it’s what puts joy in your heart and purpose in your days. But as soon as the comparison starts and you find yourself wishing you were like the mom with the perfectly dressed kids, adorable crafts, and clean house you find you can’t escape frustration. Or perhaps you can relate to my struggle, each book contract or viral blog post of your friend leaves a bad taste in your mouth. You’re happy for them but you find yourself striving to succeed, the harder you grasp at success the more joy evaporates.
Whatever we delight in can turn into a burden when it’s leveraged for our own good and not the good of another.
Serve your family, serve with your words, serve in whatever capacity you find yourself and you will find that because strength is meant for service, not status, it’s where joy is found!
Who has God created you to serve? Do you find it fulfilling or are you looking around at the success of others and wishing that was you? For the rest of this week serve in that capacity without worrying about getting ahead, or who’s the best, and see if you don’t find joy!