Dear Salvation Army, there might be the instance (from time to time) where we might begin to compare ourselves with others. Sometimes the comparisons we draw from are from outside our denominational walls, while other times we covetously peer over the “hedge” of our corps and into the properties of another corps which seems to have it all put together. Thus we can be tempted to play the “If Only” game.
It goes like this:
If only we had more financial contributions…
If only we had more people…
If only we had a better building…
If only we had more resources…
This is a game that I too have played.
It can be self-defeating and self-destructive. The “If onlys” can lead to disillusionment and a surrendering to a false identity. The body of Christ ought not compare itself to another part of the body. It sounds rather silly when we think of it like that – A Hand of Christ looking at a Foot and wishing it too was a foot…but the reality is that this unfortunately happens all the time. The “If Onlys” crosses cultural and international lines. It doesn’t matter what location in the world that one resides in, this game is still played out. Social media can be a boon as well as a bane. We can peer through our tiny windows within our computers and see Salvationists from all walks of life. We can envy the opportunities that they have and we can sometimes covet. Salvationists this ought not be!
3 Prescriptions To Combat “If Only”:
1) Be Confident That Christ Has Called You To Your Specific Place!
I believe in Divine Appointments. I recognize that at times the Lord places people at just the right location for His might purposes. Recognize that where you are right now, even if you serve in a tiny corps in the middle of nowhere, that you are serving the Almighty! He longs for our faithfulness in the small things as well as the large things. Accept this ministry in faith and know that God has appointed you there!
2) Claim This Mission Field That Christ Has Given You!
Look around your community, there are many souls who need YOU! Regardless if you have the financial resources or not, God is still on the throne and He will take care of you and this mission field! Be faithful to God and to the mission field you have been placed in. We are to be good stewards of what He has entrusted with. Claim the streets around your corps. Claim the ministries as opportunities for more people to come to Christ. Walk those streets in uniform. Get to know the people living there. Do not be afraid to be the influence of change and hope in your community!
3) Work Together, Not Against!
Stop peering over the hedge at other corps or other churches that seem to have all of the “if onlys”. If we are truly the body of Christ then we ought to be working together not against one another through coveting and jealousy. Share resources when we are able. Ask for help. Be mindful that we are all in this together and together we are a much stronger army for God! Petty Jealousy has no place in our Army. It is a tool the father of lies wishes to use in order to divide and conquer us. Keep a clear head and may we fight the good fight with other fellow soldiers at our sides.
What am I trying to say today?
Don’t allow the “If Onlys” to penetrate and disturb your ministries.
Don’t play this destructive game.
Get on with loving your communities through the power of the Almighty!
He is faithful and He will always provide what you need, when you need it!
Get on with meeting human needs in His name!
Something more for this Army to ponder today, to God be the glory!