How we see ourselves is critical to endurance, isn’t it?
Myself, well, I battle with self-esteem ALL the time. Does that come as a shock to you? It shouldn’t. I’m only human. You see, it’s difficult to view myself as successful, much less a “godly” pastor when standing in the light of men whose congregations run in the hundreds, if not thousands, whose ministries see scores of people regularly coming to Christ, and whose lives are more like Billy Graham while mine often crumbles like a graham cracker.
Like Moses as he stood before the burning bush in Exodus 3:11, I often ask, “Who am I, God?” Compared to those men with huge ministries, those phenomenal leaders who grace our Christian bookstore shelves, or even the pastor down the road with cooler clothes, I seem small, ineffective, impotent, and of little worth.
However, if I would stop standing in the shadow of other men, and stand in the light of Jesus, things would be MUCH different!
Sure, I am small and weak in the light of His glory, but in my weakness I am made strong, not patronized. When I stand in His light my frailties, my sin, my worries, my brokenness are made painfully evident…but so is HIS GRACE!
When I compare myself to other people, all I see failure. But, when I compare myself to Jesus Christ, I can recognize my utter inabilities and at the same time find in Him the strength and grace to be all HE wants me to be! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
As we follow Jesus Christ we are promised to be conformed to His likeness, not men. Should we conform to the likeness of others we view as more successful than ourselves, then we will truly fail.
Endurance is available for those who run their own race, not the race of others.