…..what is that to you? You follow Me! (John 21:22)
As followers of the Savior we are indeed family. This is not a choice that we make but an absolute reality that we must recognize and embrace. We are eternally connected one to another. I have come to believe that it is in the context of relationships that I most often discover who I really am and what I really believe (verses what I think I believe). The Lord will often shine His strong light of love in my life, revealing the places He wants to touch and heal, through my interaction with others. This is a both a wonderful yet difficult, challenging yet kindhearted, painful yet freeing act of His love that brings freedom to me – if I will receive it. It is simply how we grow are shaped into His image. But…
But at the very same time our relationship with the Lord is also intensely individual, personal, intimate and unique. Our Lord does not simply know us as one of the masses, but is profoundly acquainted with as dearly loved children. As trusted friends. As a cherished bride.
Our tendency to “make comparisons” runs deep. This immediately takes us to dangerous ground. Paul says it this way:
……but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. (2 Cor. 10:12)
If I compare myself to another I end up as Paul says “without understanding”. We call that confusion, or not really coming to the truth. Comparison will either puff me up with pride or crush me with feelings of inadequacy or unfairness. Comparing myself to another actually distorts truth because of my limited understanding of another as well as my limited understanding of myself. It is a dangerous, deceptive and soul polluting habit.
More and more I see my relationship with the Lord as a beautiful dance – and He leads. Looking into the eyes of my Bridegroom I can feel the slight pressure of His right hand on my back leading me to what is good and away from what is harmful. I can feel the gentle squeeze of His left hand holding mine, drawing my attention to His face, His love and away from gazing at that which has no value at all.
When Peter asked Jesus how John’s life would go Jesus said- “what is that to you? You follow Me”. And he says the very same words to you and me today. He is saying “Let me take the lead in our love dance, keep your eyes on Me, not others, I know you and exactly what you need to finish well- Follow ME!”