Wednesday, April 18, 2018

What About Him (or Her), Lord?: Fighting the Battle of Comparison as a Christian Writer

"Lord,what about him?" Peter asks.
"Jesus answered, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to You? You follow me!"-John 21:21-22

Why her? That's the title of a book by Nicky Koziarz I've been studying through Proverbs 31 Ministries.

And the truth is its an unspoken question on our lips. Will you be brave enough to admit you've been pulled in by this struggle a time or two?

Why her? The mental line that follows: why not me. Perhaps a secret whine in our prayer closet. God can handle it. We can be honest about our battles and temptations knowing that the Jesus who created it all, controls tempests, sky and billowing sea sees the deep dark ugly of our heart and yet loves us enough to pull us out of that place.

Because when we ask why her? We are really asking why not me? And the hissing lie in our soul, does God REALLY have the best in mind for me, is what we whisper. Will we admit it?
Turn to the New Testament and you'll see Peter wrestling with the same comparison struggles. As he speaks with his resurrected Lord, Jesus tells Peter of his future. When you're old, you will be taken where you don't want to go.

He was telling Peter he would have a martyr's death and we know from the early church fathers he was in fact crucified upside down, because he did not consider himself worthy to be put to death in the same manner as his lord.

As we are often apt to do, Peter is looking around and sees his friend and fellow apostle John.

"Lord,what about him?" Peter asks.

Instead of looking around, focus on me. You let me worry about my plans for him. You don't need to concern yourself with that.

Twice in John 21, Jesus tells Peter to follow HIM and isn't that the answer to all our mental comparison games? Stop looking around at her contract, his award, her job promotion. Keep your eyes on me and I will keep you from stumbling.

Peter's friend John on the other hand, called himself the beloved disciple because he understood the depths of the love Jesus had for him. When we can see clearly how much he loves us and how great his goodness towards us is...why her stops mattering. Because we know a God who bled for our sins can only have a plan that's for our best. And that frees us up too to be genuinely able to celebrate when our friends have fabulous news, with our whole heart.

A former librarian with a passion for words, Julia Reffner is a columnist for LIBRARY JOURNAL and writes to mirror truth. She lives in Virginia.

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