It happens all the time.
I love words. You know this. I love encouraging words and words that are pretty to look at. So I scroll through Pinterest and Instagram and save all of the images that I love. Bible verses, lyrics, anything and everything Morgan Harper Nichols will ever put together. But every once in a while, my thumb stops scrolling. My soul loves the little image but my brain gives me this small, flashing warning sign.
It looks good… but it’s just not all the way true.
This is one of them, in one form or another:
“In a crowded world, there is enough room for you.”
Okay, wait. I know. Don’t shoot me yet. I agree with this statement. The world isn’t wrong about this! There is absolutely room for you. You are needed. Your perspective, your gifts, your talent, your creativity, your passion and your vision… it’s true. No one can give what you give. You desperately matter.
And I read these little images and I want to punch the air and go, “Yasssss girl! There’s enough room for me!”
But it’s only half the truth. And half the truth is dangerous. The world isn’t following up on the other side. The side that Jesus is longing to uncover for us.
There is room for you, yes. But there is also room for them.
Everything around us would tell us otherwise. We are living in a breeding culture of competition which gives us two choices: fight for our spot or back down and let someone else have it. There is no in between.
The other really tricky part of this is that even in the church, we haven’t really addressed it. Yes, we talk about the body of Christ. We need all of the parts, right? So my gifting may not be what yours is; and that’s totally okay. But what about the hard reality that lots of us actually do hold the same category of gifts? This is where it gets messy. This is where the competition begins. Most of us are okay with someone else being better at us in an area that we aren’t super passionate about to begin with. Me? I’d like to be the best at everything, if I’m honest. But there are a few roles in my life where I can feel the tension. There are others who are gifted in the same way. Mine isn’t the only blog out there. The world is full of people sharing their words in hopes that you will feel less alone.
So, yeah, I needed to be reminded that Jesus has called me to my particular areas and to pursue them anyway. But maybe even more than my acceptance that there is enough room for me is that there is also space for them.
Ooooh… them. It’s so vague. I know. It’s meant to be. It encompasses literally everyone else. The ones you like and the ones you don’t. The ones you want to see succeed and the ones you secretly wish might fail.
The other mom who also raises incredible kids.
The other writer who has just begun publishing a blog.
The other musician who shares the same talent.
The other small group leader who’s super wise and engaging.
The other hostess who is insanely gifted with decorating and cooking.
The other woman who inspires you just by living her life.
Everything good that we have to offer comes straight from God’s Spirit. The problem is that we spend so much of our time drowning in insecurity that we are fighting to figure out how God has gifted us in the first place. This gives us no energy or passion to encourage it in anyone else.
I’m just wondering if we could change it up. Instead of fighting for what we believe is our rightful place in the world, what if we simply accepted everything we are and looked for ways to call out the best in everyone else?
Super easy, right? I know… I know it’s not. A few typed out words in black and white isn’t going to change the narrative of God’s hope for us working together as family.
But you can.
You can change the narrative. You can accept that you are called and chosen by God, and so are they. You can confidently accept that you are really talented… and so are they. You can look for ways to call out the gifting in someone else that they can’t even see yet.
You can begin the process of God’s hope for His family; looking for ways to outdo one another in love.
The world needs you, and the world needs them.
“For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of…What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own.” [1 Corinthians 12:20-22]