November 16, 2014 - 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
We constantly compare ourselves to others. We feel we don’t measure up, so we get down on ourselves.
I’m not as attractive as she is. I’m not as smart as he is. I can’t sing as well as she can. I can’t read as well as he does. I’m too shy to speak in public. My boss doesn’t like me as well as my co-workers.
The result of constantly comparing ourselves to others is always the same: I don’t measure up.
And we really believe it. This begins that downward spiral: negative thoughts and negative feelings, which usually lead to negative words and negative actions. Negative, negative, negative.
I think, when that happens to me, I become someone other than the child of God I was created to be. And I think this happens to all of us.
I was created with all the gifts and talents that the Lord God wanted me to have. I am unique and special. There is no one else just like me.
No one in the world can do a better job of being me than me. No one in the world can do a better job of being you than you.
You are unique and special. There is no one else just like you. If you don’t feel that you are unique and special then, guess what, you are in that downward spiral.
When we are in that negative downward spiral we look a lot like that servant who, out of fear, went off and buried the talent in the ground.
The master calls him, “wicked and lazy,” and so he is.
Who wants to be called wicked and lazy? I know I don’t and I’m pretty sure there is not another person in this church today who wants to be called wicked and lazy.
No. We want to hear, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”
We want to feel good about ourselves again. We want to feel like we are special. We want to feel like we belong. We want to feel like we amount to something.
The gospel truth is that we are already all of those things. And the Lord God says to us, “If you are in the darkness, come to the light.” Come to the light, for you are all children of the light.
Each of us, according to our ability, has been given gifts and talents that are uniquely ours. And those gifts and talents were handpicked for us by the Creator.
Our mission, our purpose, our call from the Lord Jesus is to use those gifts and talents in a way that makes God’s creation better.
Nothing grand. Maybe even something simple. Some goodness that we bring to a little part of God’s wonderful creation.
And that goodness that we bring makes us attractive and smart, special and unique, charitable, loving and kind.
We are all wonderfully made and if we’d stop comparing ourselves to others, we just might be able to see it.
If we’d take a look at who we really are and recognize the gifts and talents we’ve been given, we’d get to work so that when the master comes, and the master is coming, we will hear him say to us, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”