This is the only thing I can offer

I have a tendency to compare myself to others. Whereas many people tend to compare themselves to make themselves look better. I, more often than not, compare what I am lacking to what others have. This is quite prevalent when I look at what my friends offer in terms of the Church body. And while doing so, feeling like what I have to offer isn’t quite good enough. I realize that not only am I selling myself short (for failing to see what God has given me) I am also implying, through my thoughts and actions, that somehow God made a mistake…or that I am not as blessed or not as loved compared to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Make no mistake, my friends are incredible blessings, super talented, and might I add, also ridiculously good looking. I can see, in some very incredible ways, how God is using them, growing them, and pressing them. Most of what I feel is joy, for them. Some of them are incredible speakers. Some, have been gifted just a beautiful talent for singing and instruments. Some offer incredibly sweet, life giving words of wisdom And others have this infectious, wonderful passion and joy for Jesus. Just to name a few.  

Yet, this gives me pause. What do I have to offer? I’m not as passionate, nor am I able to speak well. My singing is horrific, as is my instrument playing. As I dwell on what I lack, I am reminded that my identity isn’t founded on the talents I have. It is the same with my friends, their identities are not founded and grounded by the talents they were given. 

My identity is founded in Christ. My identity is grounded in who He is, what He has done, and His promises. My talents were never mine to begin with. So the only thing I can do, and the only thing I find myself wanting to do, is bless those around me with the talent God gave me. This is all I can do to bless the body of Christ and to give glory to God. 

Who I am isn’t founded upon what I can or cannot do. Who I am isn’t founded on what I do or don’t have. Who I am is founded upon a bloody Cross, an empty grave… a risen Saviour King. I don’t think it can get anymore stable, or any better than that.



6 thoughts on “This is the only thing I can offer

  1. Benjamin Peltz

    A good thought, but I wonder: is part of the reason you struggle with self-image in relation to your peers because you compare tangible markers of grace with abstract ones? I don’t really think it’s sufficient for you to say “I see this, this, and this in my peers… but I know God loves me too.” What are some of the gifts God has given you? Don’t root your identity in them – but be serious about recognizing specific, tangible markers of grace in your life!

  2. hansenlung Post author

    I think it’s moreso the fact that although I recognize my gifts, I sometimes don’t see them as significant (selling myself short)… it’s like what I wrote a year or so ago, that sometimes we put certain things as higher (missions for example) and I think for me, I’ve done that with gifts and talents. Certain things, I subconsciously put on a higher level (preaching being an example) than others (like blessing others through food). Which is a major issue for me.
    So it’s like, I see what I’ve been given, the gifts and talents I can use to bless and encourage others but because it’s not something like preaching, I sometimes (wrongly) feel like it won’t be effective.
    but thanks for the encouragement and advice! I will continue to wrestle, look for and recognize those tangible markers.

    1. Benjamin Peltz

      I didn’t just mean in general. I meant here and now. Read your post! You say “here’s what my friends are good at” and then turn around and say “but God loves me for who I am not what I do so I should be happy.” That’s a pretty lame way to wrestle through envy!

      So tell me, here and now, what your skills are. Blessing others through food is a good start! Encouragement, which you hint at, is one that I’ll chip in there for you which you could definitely develop into a pretty significant gift. What else?

  3. hansenlung Post author

    oh man, if I had to think about it (which I have been): humour, listening (that’s a gift no?) and that’s really all I can think of at the moment.

    1. Benjamin Peltz

      Okay. Those are a good start, for sure. Food, encouragement, listening… I would go beyond humour and say that you have a capacity for bringing joy to people (which is maybe the same thing as encouragement). That’s not a bad list, especially when you consider that you are also above average in a lot of other areas (like theology).

      Here’s a proposition for you: I think, Hansen, that you might have a gift of hospitality (Romans 12:13). You are able to make people feel joyful by giving of yourself, whether that means cooking them a lovely meal, cracking some awesome jokes, or encouraging them in the midst of struggles. Unfortunately, hospitality is something we normally think of as a woman’s gift, because of the connection with home life. But Paul, Peter, and the author of Hebrews all tell us to practice hospitality, and in ancient culture inviting people to share in your life was considered an incredibly spiritual thing to do. Maybe you’re called to bless people in that way?


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