A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)
In my decade of ministry to teens, the number one personal issue regularly presented to me is one of identity. You see, our teenage years can be a very confusing time for many. We begin our final development into a man or woman. Our bodies grow up, sometimes out. Our voices get deeper. We are faced with more responsibility. The chance of dating someone can become a reality. In other words, there are lots of firsts that happen when we are teens. But, it also causes many of us to become confused about who we are, or ought to be.
Unfortunately, we often times seek our identity by comparing ourselves to others. We compare our looks – I wish I was as handsome or pretty as that person. We compare personalities – I wish I was as outgoing as she is. We compare our athleticism – I wish I could play sports as well as him. We compare our academic abilities – she is so smart. We compare our relationships – everyone likes him. We compare our spiritual strengths – I wish I could pray like her. Or we compare our preaching chops – I wish I could preach like him. (Maybe that one’s just for me.) We compare just about everything in an attempt to find out who we are.
Here’s the problem. God didn’t create you to be like someone else. He created you to be unique, unlike anyone else. When we compare ourselves to others, it is a form of jealousy. And, as King Solomon said, “jealousy is like cancer in the bones.” In other words, when you compare yourselves to others, you will never find peace, satisfaction, or health; only death.
Instead, we are to seek our identity in who God says we are – who He created us to be. When we accept that Jesus created us on purpose, for a purpose, we get the gift of peace. And, as Solomon puts it, “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body.” Not only does peace give us better mental health, it also helps us to discover why God built us the way He did. And, that is the joy of the journey.
So, today, and every day, give thanks to God for who He made you to be. Ask Him to reveal more about who you are, and how He sees you. Let the peace of the Father flood into your life and the jealousy of the enemy flee.