As humans, we are incredibly gifted at sorting. We distinguish between colors and sounds and speeds and styles. Often this is wonderful, delightful, life-saving. At times this is devastating.
On Friday, my friend Chris identified something that I do as being inspiring for him.I’m grateful that I help him in that way, but I look at the rest of his list and think, “Why am I here? I’m not as (blank) as those guys.” in fact, I’m not even as (blank) as Chris.
You see how destructive this thinking is? I mean, a guy who inspires me, a guy who is on my desktop, lists me as being helpful. I react with, “Thank you, but…” And the risk is that I spend so much energy on the process of being humble that I don’t go ahead and do whatever it is I do.
And I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone. I end up talking to lots of people about life and at least some of them about spiritual components of life. I find people constantly comparing themselves to others, saying “That person is really spiritual. I could never be that way.”
Which is, if you will forgive my bluntness, dumb.
I’m looking at some Bible people these days, people that get ignored or scolded or used as examples of how not to be. In fact, even people who don’t know much about church stuff have heard about “doubting Thomas.” There’s a person named Martha who always gets identified as the unspiritual of two sisters, the one who was too busy to spend enough time listening to Jesus. There’s a guy named Philip who appears in a really cool story and then disappears from the exciting stuff for a couple decades and then is “just” a dad.
What I’m realizing as I’m doing some studying is that each of those people, the people who aren’t as famous as Paul or Peter, those people are the one’s who are like us, normal people. And Jesus didn’t ignore them or write them off. In fact, the famous people did some pretty silly things. I’m guessing that they spent some time saying, I wish I could be as (blank) as Thomas.
I may talk more here about some of those people. I may not. But I’m thinking that I glad that you’re not as (blank) as I am. Because I’m not as (blank) as you are. And we really need someone like you.