Devotion for the Week...
Because I look after children, I often find myself saying "Don't worry about what they're doing, you just worry about you." Usually, this is because Child A is concerned because Child B is doing something they're not supposed to do, never mind that Child A was just disobeying that same rule a moment ago. Or maybe it's because I just asked the kids to do something and one didn't do it immediately, so another quickly points that out, which of course means that they're not doing what I asked either.
Even as adults, though, we tend to focus on other people and whether or not they are doing what is expected of them. Sometimes we are so focused on what other people are doing, compared to what we think they should be doing, that we forget that we should be paying much closer attention to what we are supposed to be doing.
There are also times when we are very concerned that other people are being asked to do things that are comparable to what we've been asked to do, not necessarily because we want them to be doing the same things, but because we want the work load or expectations to be spread out fairly. I see this in my own kids sometimes, when I ask them to set the table or some other chore and they ask if they should call out to their brothers to get them to come help too.
After Jesus rose from the dead, He spoke with Peter about the future. Jesus said to him, "'Very
truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went
where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to
go.' Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, 'Follow me!'" (John 21:18,19). So, Peter is being given a glimpse of something hard that he will have to deal with in the future. What does he immediately do?
"Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved
was following them...When Peter saw him, he asked, 'Lord, what about him?'" (v. 20,21).
Interesting, isn't it? Immediately after being told something that he will deal with in the future, Peter turned, looked at someone else, and asked, "Well, what will he be asked to deal with?" It's almost like you can see the balance scales in Peter's mind, making sure the demands on him wouldn't be more than the demands on someone else.
And Jesus' response? "'If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me'" (v. 22). Essentially, He said, "Don't worry about him. You just worry about you."
When things are going wrong in our lives, we sometimes look at other people who seem to have everything going their way and we ask, "Why aren't they dealing with anything like this? Why is everything so perfect for them?" The answer is...don't worry about them. We don't know what God has asked them to deal with in the past, or what they're dealing with now, or what God will ask them to deal with in the future.
I love that Jesus asked Peter, "What is that to you?" What concern is it of ours what God wills for another person? I certainly don't mean that we should ignore other people and the problems they may be facing,
but we can't concern ourselves with it in the context of keeping score.
I also like that Jesus told Peter, "You must follow me." Really, that's all any of us need to worry about. Are we following Him as best we can, regardless of what others are doing?
Don't worry about what anyone else is called to do. You just worry about you.