No Competition

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. (NIV)

Having picked up a small booklet, I was about to read the devotional messages written by Mary (not her real name). A friend who saw the booklet in my hand approached me, and he said, "Now you have competition!" I looked at him and smiled, then backed away from the situation.

Later, mulling this over, I thought, "No, I don't have any competition." For writing devotionals is a work that I do for the Lord — that I might utter a spiritual word of encouragement to others who read these messages.

Over the years, as different contributors to the Daily devotional have come and gone, I have recognized that they all have a gift that is totally their own, a gift from God. None of us is in a competition, and we delight ourselves in the Lord Who gives each one of us the desires of our own hearts to share with others.

Here we do God's work — not being challenged by the others and never feeling there is need to outdo one another. For how could we do better than to try to interpret God's Word and write it the way each of us sees it? This gives a variety that makes a difference as we minister to a widely diversified audience. We reach out to laity and to clergy as well.

This lesson in my experience should be the same in all our occupations — not just in writing, but in all the work we do. Life sometimes seems to be a competition when it need not be. Striving to reach the top can bring jealousy and dissension, but working for the Lord in all we do will bring each of us the desires of our own heart. There is a definite difference.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, enable us to grow in You and for You, that we will not become jealous of others' work, but follow You in all we do. Help us to appreciate one another and work for Your glory. In Jesus' name, we pray that You will make the difference in all we attempt to do. Amen.

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Anne Russell <>
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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