Up until recently (as in last week), I have kind of pooh-poohed the idea of a word of the year for each year. In the past it has seemed hokey to me, like a Pinterest vision board one makes and then never looks at again. I’m more into real life than “inspirational phrases,” but this year, I’ve got 4 words bouncing around in my head that I REALLY want to apply to 2018.
So yes, it’s technically MORE than ONE “word of the year,” and it won’t look good on a pillow or a beautifully hand-lettered chalk board, but here it is. My WORDS of the year for 2018 are “What’s it to you?”
Yep. “What’s it to you?”
Now this may seem a little off-putting, but when I say “What’s it to you?” I’m not actually saying it to YOU, with a smirk and a snotty attitude. I’m saying it to ME, to myself, but I’m imagining that it’s JESUS saying it to me like He said it to Peter in John chapter 21. You see, I was struggling with comparison HARD a couple of months ago and God led me STRAIGHT to these scriptures. I had read them before, but I’d NEVER actually UNDERSTOOD them. Thankfully the Lord basically lit this message up in neon for me and I wasn’t too blind or dense to catch it. You see, this passage is all about not comparing the path Jesus has you on to the path He has others on (or the paths of their own choosing). I needed to read it so badly, and God in his goodness stuck it in front of my face one morning. Here’s how it went down between JC and the man he called The Rock:
Jesus is talking to Peter and he’s telling Peter about some of the plans that he has for Peter’s life.
17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”
So basically Jesus said to Peter, “This is what’s going to happen to you. You are going to die by another’s hand, and you’re gonna die for my glory.” I mean, it wasn’t exactly the warmest news Peter had ever received from his Savior. And it didn’t take Peter long to fall victim to comparison, and wonder how his fate was going to compare to that of one of his fellow disciples, John. Just one verse later he was asking Jesus “Well, what about John? Is he going to get killed too?” It went like this:
21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” 23 So the saying spread abroad among the brothers[b] that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”
Do you SEE what Jesus said to Peter here? Did you catch that? His answer to Peter’s question of comparison was:
“What’s it to you?”
Because God left us His word to teach us how he wants us to live, I am absolutely confident in saying that this is also what Jesus would say to moms who are struggling with comparison. And I KNOW He showed me these verses one morning and left the phrase “What’s it to you?” pinging around in my head and my heart for a reason.
God wants me to keep my eyes OFF of others, and onto him. That means putting the brakes on comparing my appearance, my job, my kids abilities, my income, my home, my mess, my car, my volunteer work, my spirituality, my productivity to others.
It means when I start to feel down on myself because of someone else’s achievements I say “what’s it to you, Jenny??” and I check how I’m following after the things of God.
I am starting my 2018 with a big old “WHAT’S IT TO YOU?”
And if that IS something to you, I sure hope you will join me. Happy New Year, Mamas!