I am a millennial and just like every generation before me, millennials are searching for our calling and our place in the world. In our case it can seem like a much more difficult task as we have an almost infinite number of people to compare ourselves to, thanks to social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. We also have an almost infinite variety of career choices. It is too easy for us to become dissatisfied in what we are doing and feel like we have failed if we do not become the next billionaire under 25. However, we millennials need to realize our own callings, based on God’s Word matched with the calling and capabilities He has given us (1 Peter 4:10-11), or we won’t end up doing anything significant in this short life we have. We cannot waste any more time comparing our own lives and callings to those we see around us.
When I log on to social media and see the amazing things my friends are doing, I instantly begin comparing their lives to my own. Even though I have no idea about my friends’ personal circumstances and am only seeing what they choose to share, I measure my own life by the cool things they seem to be doing. When this happens, an insecurity inside of me rises up and resolves to do something better than they are, even if that is not what I am called to do! For instance, one of my friends is studying abroad in China right now, and that is exactly what he is supposed to be doing. Before he was accepted to study, I knew that he was going to end up in China. Since we are good friends, he talks about me coming over and studying at the college with him. Even though I love China, traveling, and meeting new people, I know that is not where I should be right now.
If I am constantly evaluating my life and basing my calling on what other people are doing, I will never have the joy that Jesus desires for me to be filled with as I submit to His purpose for my life. Along with not having joy or happiness, I won’t fulfill my own calling as I will always be looking at other people’s lives instead of focusing on mine and what God has for me. Everyone is unique, as is our calling.
I believe millennials need to step away from the comparisons, talk to God, and then start doing something based on what we believe is our true calling from Him! We do not have time to compare our lives to the lives of others. They have their own calling and we have ours. Comparison is the thief of joy. Let us break away from these distractions, return to what God has called us to do, and do that to the best of our abilities.
Very well done, Josh. This applies to ALL rest of us too, as we live in this hurry, hurry, rush, rush, world of today.
An healthy perspective, expressed well! Exciting as it sounds, your calling is not mine, One can also die in China.
Of course, over time, your capacity will expand to think more broadly about how to coordinate the gifts and calling of others.
Should the Lord Jesus call you for some kind of influence over congregations or ministry teams, then you must learn to remember many others’ calling, lest you burn out failing.
I am one of those sour, wrinkled pieces of pre-boomer rubbish that clutter the back row of your auditorium. Have I a calling? Does it matter to you?
Yes I believe everyone has a calling. You have experienced the trials of life and because of that you have a lot of wisdom to share with us younger generations.
Hi Josh I was very blessed by your message, and your observation that comparison is the thief of joy reminded me that I have experienced myself that in addition to comparison, competition also crushes joy and creativity. I will look forward to your next post. Thanks & blessings Susan