Think it was a years or so ago when I watched a sermon of T.D Jakes where he described the reaction quite a few people have when they realize other people start to change their lives or even just a part of it. To jump to the end of the sermon, he made a profound statement which at the time I wasn’t able to really appreciate its meaning. He said, and I’m paraphrasing now, that people don’t want us to change, because they want to be able to label us and place us in categories they feel fit us best. Any attempt we make to change who we are will cause confusion on their side and they now have to find a new category to fit us in. People especially don’t like it when we improve ourselves, because it might lead to them having to place us into a category that is more superior to where they feel they fit in.
I have found it quite strange how we compare ourselves with others, preferably people who don’t intimidate our ego, to make us feel better about ourselves, but when we feel others are progressing in life we almost feel threatened or intimidated by them.
Whenever people tend to step outside the boundaries we consciously or unconsciously place around them, we tend to either judge or mock that person to hopefully, in our own minds, place them back into a category we feel suits them.
If everyone would discontinue this category-based judgement system and allow people to be brave in their own context and encourage them in their bravery imagine the heights we will see people reach. We should embrace the efforts people make to move forward and we should motivate them, support them and encourage them to see their efforts through. Living a life which encourages people to move forward in life even if it means that they might just move past us and reach heights we will never reach.
The reality is that the truth is only found in God’s Word, not in what we feel it should be. So even though we don’t always feel comfortable with the progression other people make, it doesn’t really matter. The plans God has for us is constant and He keeps His word.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? (Numbers 23:19 NLT)
So let us find comfort in God and what His word says about us and not the insignificant words of others.