We just introduced a pretty fantastic way to practice the discipline of celebration as a community with #celebratehappywednesday. This is a way to share the things you are celebrating, how you are celebrating and who you are celebrating! The big WHO that is, the God who has given us all these great and good things. Celebration bonds a community together, whether online or in the present and we can’t wait to hear what God shows our community through intentionally celebrating.
The fact that celebration is a discipline speaks to how out of practice we are with it. Life is ridiculously full and distracting. Maybe you are like me and life with young children has kept you so busy that you have just, well, forgotten to make celebration a regular part of life. There are a few other excuses and things that keep me from regularly celebrating and one big fat one is COMPARISON.
Comparison, the robber of joy. My daughter and I watched Daniel the Tiger together the other day and I found myself comparing my parenting to Daniel’s mother’s parenting. A cartoon! With a script! Egads. “Daniel’s mother is doing a way better job than I am. l don’t keep my tone so even and musical when I talk to my kids.” These thoughts were like flushing the toilet and releasing 40 gallons of negative selfish thought on my day.
I can’t keep up the analogy with Daniel Tiger’s mom, she’s a cartoon. But this shows how ridiculously easy it is to fall into comparison and we all do it with real life people. We compare lifestyle, ministry, cars, wardrobes, parenting, blogs, faith, business, couches, success, writing skills…anything and everything. Which is a shame because it moves us far away from celebrating what God is doing in our brother’s or sister’s life and develops a deep rooted dissatisfaction with what God is doing with ours.
“ And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.” 1 Corinthians 12:5
How beautiful it is that just as we each are uniquely made, we each have a unique way and place to serve God! In all the beautifully diverse platforms being used, it is all for the same God. Our ministries, lives, and gifts will not all look the same, but all are for the same purpose: to serve and glorify God and build His kingdom! Our details are important, we are each his tiny work of art. But we aren’t the final piece, we are all a small part of the big picture God is painting for the world.
Comparison robs the purpose of our platform from serving others and God to serving ourselves and looking for our own glory. Celebrating others’ success and platforms is celebrating God’s work. When we celebrate another’s success we are also praising and exalting God’s purpose and plans in us as a community, the body of Christ.
Working to stop comparison and instead celebrate is hard heart work. It takes discipline. Tenacity. Eyes fixed on the hope we have in Christ and embracing the new life we are given in Him. It takes humility to lift up someone else’s efforts and honour their work of building the kingdom of God, especially hard when our own efforts may have failed. It takes some self-awareness to shed off those layers of ‘I must’, ‘I need’, ‘I should’ that cause us needless strife. Instead we should raise our hands up and say ‘I did’, ‘I do’, ‘I will’ and know that when we are doing the work we are called to do, the best way we know how, with all that we have before us we are perfecting our tiny little work of art. Our picture won’t look the same as anyone elses’ and that is a beautiful thing.
We are doing this together you know. As a community we can inspire each other, help each other, celebrate each other. As a community we can keep each other accountable to be celebrating in all that we are. Maybe sometimes we need to tell another that we see God working in their life and platform. Maybe we need to eat more cake together. Maybe we need to step down from the striving and do some more serving. Maybe we need to spend some time quietly with God thanking him for all his goodness and when it is hard to see good things, asking him to open our eyes to His good work in our lives.
We can trust that God has been and is at work in our lives and in each others’ eyes. We can respect that we are all a unique and important piece of his masterpiece, and he wants us to celebrate that in one another.
Let’s leave comparison and celebrate!