Forget about the Lifeboat!

13 04 2013

There isn’t a lifeboat. Yet, we live as if one exists. Every day we compare ourselves to those around us trying to determine which one is better – them or us. Who deserves a seat on the boat? Who does not?

For instance, as a writer it’s easy to fall into the trap of reading other author’s pieces and then pick them apart (a sure sign that I’m feeling threatened by their skill). Or of rejoicing that I’m obviously a much better writer. (Phew! I’m safe)

Everything is fine when I believe that I have more to offer than someone else in a given situation. The minute it’s apparent that I’m lacking in one area or another compared to that person, I immediately begin to look for a flaw or shortcoming in him or her so I can feel secure again.

It’s what I call “Lifeboat Theology.” Each person is ranked by social standing, popularity, appearance, etc. No “ladies and children first” thinking here. The “important” people are given a seat first, then those who are rich or famous, then the “beautiful” people. The average working Joe and the bum off the street don’t stand a chance.

What a blessed day it was when I realized that there is no lifeboat in God’s kingdom. The ground at the foot of the cross is level, and there’s room for everyone regardless of who we are or what we’ve done. (Check out Galatians 1:28)

This changes everything. Whereas before anyone younger, more talented, more gifted, more accomplished was perceived as a threat, now I understand that each person has a unique role to fill in this world. I cannot take someone else’s position and they can’t take mine. We’ve each been specifically outfitted for what we are called to do.

Knowing that my “place” is secure, I can extend a hand to those around me. I am free to encourage, support, inspire, and even equip them so they can do what they were created to do, without the fear of being bumped off the boat and left to drown.

Even better, the Bible states that God doesn’t call many who are wise, mighty or noble, but chooses the foolish, the weak, and the base. Why? So that no one can boast about how great he is, how he’s a “self-made” man in the presence of God (1 Cor 1:26-29). I guess you know which category that puts me in. Yep, I’m the weak ninny who messes up all the time!

God looks at things very differently than do we.

Jesus said that we will know truth, and the truth will set us free. That certainly holds true for me in this instance. I’ve given away my life vest, and now look around for folks whom I can help fulfill their own calling – without the fear of losing mine.

Even when things come up and I appear to have been displaced by someone “better,” I can relax. It’s merely a re-direct from the Father. A new way is opening for me with adventures I’ve never dreamed of.

Yeah, life is definitely more peaceful, now that I’ve given up on Lifeboat Theology!

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4 responses

17 08 2015
isaiah41v10

I’m enjoying reading some of your old posts. I don’t have this problem with writing, but do with playing the piano and singing. I feel threatened by others, and compare myself with others. I feel resentful when no one says anything complimentary to me about my music. Pretty ugly. 😦 Not sure about how to get past it.

17 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

Are we twins? I recorded a CD for Nicaragua. My husband played it for our home group. About two songs into the thing, one of the men leaned over to my husband and asked if we could ‘turn this stuff down.’ That’ll leave a mark.

Anymore, I use the imagination God gave me and imagine myself a little girl singing for her Father. “Daddy, lookit me, lookit me.” I’m trying to recapture the heart of a child who belts out a song – horribly out of key – without a thought in the world. I’m singing for my Abba, and He loves it!

\o/

22 08 2015
isaiah41v10

Ouch that would hurt. 😦
Something that helped me today was thinking about how God made each of us an individual and He enjoys our individuality.

23 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

Yes indeed. My voice coach asked, “if you’re imitating others then who’s gonna be you?” Good question!

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