“I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress and lead you where you do not want to go.” (John 21:18)
“Follow me.” Those words still echo. An invitation and a challenge. Fulfill your destiny. Be what you’re called to be. Walk out your faith.
Just as our physical bodies can’t take a step or even function at all unless each member is committed to its own task, the body of Christ can’t function without each member fulfilling its unique role. For that reason, it’s pointless to compare our purpose with another’s.
Peter fell into a comparison trap after breakfast one morning. Jesus responded with a prophecy: “I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress and lead you where you do not want to go.”
Strong words. They came from the master, the son of God. They are words no one would want to hear, including Peter.
Something in the young disciple wanted to turn away. There had to be a way of escape from his fate. An option. An alternative. His eyes wander to a fellow disciple: the one whom Jesus loved. Peter couldn’t help himself (he barely could), and he questioned Jesus, “Lord, and what about him?” Jesus’ reply was full of love but stern, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” Peter felt the sting, a reminder that not all callings are the same. Jesus concluded with a command: “Follow me!”
The journey ahead of Peter was one he alone could travel. A reminder that there is only one proper comparison in the kingdom of God: Jesus Christ, the standard. What is He asking of you? Like Peter, it may end in death – or something that feels much like it. Will you follow? What has Christ called you to?
Read 1 Corinthians 12:12–31. Is there anything God has called you to that remains on done? If so, what will it take for you to be obedient?
Father, forgive me for comparing myself to others. Help me to recognize You as the only standard. Forgive me for any areas of disobedience. I want to obey.
Margaret Feinberg is a writer based in Juneau, Alaska. She is author of God Whispers: Learning to Hear His Voice and a contributing writer to both Enjoying God: Embracing Intimacy with the Heavenly Father and I AM RELEVANT.