reaching higher

I was in the shower this morning, after a fantastic cycle class and a great ab workout, and I was thinking about some of the stuff that has happened in the last few weeks.

I don’t think I have been living up to my full potential. I have been very content to simply settle. I justify it by saying “well, so-and-so is not worrying about that” or “this person got away with doing that, I’ll be fine…”.

I know that God is holding to me a high standard. I need to be holding myself to that same standard. I am built for great things- weighty things.  I have a testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me….How can you believe if you accept the praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God? John 5:36, 44.

How many times do I do something, say something, even think something, only to want praise from other people here on earth? Countless times. But the praise of humans is not that of God. What I am praised for and liked for and admired for here on this planet does not indicate the way I should be living.

If we compare ourselves to Jesus, we always fall short. But it is not a defeating, upsetting kind of stretching. It’s the kind of striving that makes us taller, stronger, better, and more beautiful in our determined faith. Comparing ourselves to other people, whether they be regular people who we admire and like a lot, or people who we envy for some reason, we do not grow in the same way. It is this comparison to humanity that makes me fall.

I have made so many mistakes, choices that have effected my education, health, and relationships, simply because I have been far too concerned with what people think of me. In that distraction, I forget to check in with my Father. He will have made plans for me to become far more holy than any person I am looking to for approval here on earth, and I will miss His cues for me. I am thankful for this Grace and forgiveness that I can overcome these mistakes and grow even closer to him and more dependent upon His strength.

But I was washing my hair and felt this warm fire rise in my throat. God is holding me to the highest standards I can imagine; His own son’s. I am expected to give up everything and follow Him, sacrifice mediocrity, luke-warm passion, and human comparison in order to become more like Jesus.

I know that all of my struggle and discontentment arises from earthly comparison; I am not happy with my possessions because someone else always has more. I do not feel beautiful because someone else is skinnier, has better hair, or smoother skin. I am upset with my acting ability or any other skill set because another person gets an award or receives more praise…..When I compare myself to Jesus, this discontentment and struggle does not cripple me.

It’s rather funny because I know that on earth, I can always find someone that I feel superior to; I feel that I am better off in some way, comparing myself to them….but I cannot get that in my comparison to Jesus; He is always more. He is always better. He is perfect. Still, my conviction and falling short of Him never cripples me like my earthly comparisons do. It propels me. And I am also not finding a false and sinful satisfaction in rising “above” others.

I want to be completely secure in my messy sculpting. I want to be held to the highest standards, even if it means I will never reach them. I want to be held accountable to only God’s plan.

Filled with new motivation and a yearning to reach higher, I made some coffee. It was quite a cleansing shower!

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