For the last 10 years I have been training for and running half marathons. My husband and I always do a specific one every October, going back to the city where we first lived as newlyweds. I pretty much run 3 days a week year round.
Despite all that, I have a hard time calling myself a runner.
Since elementary I have loved to write. I would always get excited for any writing assignment that was given. While the rest of the class groaned, I grinned. As an adult, I have been writing on a blog for over a decade and even self-published an Advent devotional a couple years ago.
Despite all that, I have a hard time calling myself a writer.
Because I’m not the fastest, haven’t taken home any awards, and don’t really have a runner’s physique, I disqualify myself from the “runner” category. Because a large publishing house hasn’t taken an interest in my book, I lack confidence that my writing is good. It feels too self-serving to call myself a writer so I disqualify myself from that category as well.
And I’m not alone in this. We play the downgrade game all the time. If someone is doing it better, more efficiently, more profoundly, and being recognized for it, then we feel that we have lost the chance to take the title for ourselves as well. We often downplay it by putting the word “just” in front of it. Just part-time. Just a stay at home mom. Just a small business. Just a hobby.
Aren’t we thankful that God doesn’t do this to us?
When we come to Him with a repentant heart, desiring a change, and seeking Christ’s blood for our atonement, then we find mercy, forgiveness, and love. We become a child of God. Even when we stumble, lose trust, forget who is in charge, and do a poor job of representing Jesus, we are still a child of God. Even if someone is doing it better than us, yet we still remain His.
What word are you putting just in front of? Why do you downplay that in your life? Is this thing a gift that God has given you? Is this a way that you can glorify God?
Colossians 3:17 ESV says,”And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”— Colossians 3:17 ESV
Whether you work part-time, are a stay-at-home mom, run a small business, run races, or write blog posts. Each one is something that can bring glory to God.
Satan wants to convince us that whatever work, hobby, or career we do is too little to matter for anyone. He wants to keep us thinking that we are insignificant to the Kingdom. He likes to keep putting that ‘just’ in front of things.
Because when we continue to think that our lives are not helpful to others and aren’t significant to God, then we downplay it and keep the talents that God has given us hidden.
Paul encourages fellow believers in Corinth with these words, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” I Corinthians 15:58 ESV
When the actions of our daily lives are for God’s glory and not our own, the ‘just’ part of the title is stripped away. Anything done for the Lord is never in vain. The world may not recognize it, but God does. You are a child of God. And there is no ‘just’ in front of that.