Companions VS Competitors

 
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John 21:20-22
20 Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” 21 Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”

22 Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”

In our last devotional, we discussed Peter’s moment of comparison with John, and how Jesus helps him to refocus his eyes on his own calling. At the end of this scripture, Jesus gives Peter an action to take in response to his thoughts of comparison: “As for you, follow me.

This is a call to action for all of us because who you are in communion with Jesus is where you find your true value. And you will only function in the right way if you function in the knowledge that your value is in Jesus. In this case, Jesus wanted to empower Peter to be one who was entrusted, and not entitled.

When we have been waiting to be empowered for a long time, sometimes our natural response is to show that we’ve got this and are at the table, thinking that everybody else should move over.

I have certainly acted out of that confidence at times, knowing I’ve got stuff in me to bring to the table. But sometimes we can do that in the wrong way, becoming entitled after we have been empowered. God wants us to remain entrusted, especially as women. There is nothing uglier than a woman who has been empowered, but has become entitled. Division only ever follows. But a woman who has been empowered and is entrusted - that is a beautiful picture. She is a woman of security, of confidence, and of graciousness. She is a woman who will reach out and call other people to the table. You see, comparison often cuts us off from each other, causing us to be secluded in our approach to things and isolated. But a confident woman who has been entrusted will resource and empower the people around her to rise with her.

That is what Jesus wanted for Peter. I love that Jesus highlights that the guy Peter is comparing himself to is actually his co-laborer and companion. He is someone Jesus called to build His church with, and the maximum capacity of what they could achieve is so much greater when coupled together. Two are definitely better than one. Jesus is highlighting that John was not Peter’s competition, he was his companion.

I don’t know the context in which you lead, but I have been empowered to lead alongside my husband. We work, sleep, eat and breathe alongside each other. I know that for me, I have had to come to the revelation that the drive to complement has to be greater than the drive to compete. Understanding this revelation is a major key in helping you in your capacity to be entrusted and empowered in your world. You’ve been positioned, and I just want to remind you to complement, to co-labor, to contribute and to be a companion. Reach beyond yourself to do ministry and life together.

Lastly, I want to remind you that none of us are THE answer. Sometimes we forget that. We all have many answers to the questions that we are being asked, and what you have to bring to the table is intrinsically important. But THE answer is found when doing this life together, complementing the men and women in our world. We are meant to love the people in our world, and we should come alongside them to see the mission of God’s kingdom accomplished.

Additional Scriptures: Acts 2:42-47, Romans 12:4-5

REFLECTION
1. What has God uniquely empowered you to do?
2. How can being in community complement your calling?
3. How can you be a better companion to others in your church community, in your workplace, or in your family and friend groups?

PRAYER
Dear God,

I am so grateful that You put people in my world to be companions on this journey.  Refocus my heart to continue to seek my worth in You and to complement those around me, rather than struggling to compete with them. As I come into greater empowerment, help me to be an entrusted disciple of You and not an entitled divisor. I love You.

In Jesus’s Name,
Amen