You Can't Fill Those Shoes

You Can't Fill Those Shoes

by Ken Alvis

Well, it is now 2022.  Typically, every new year is a time for resolutions, which are almost always well-meaning but usually short-lived.  Instead of talking about new year’s resolutions, my encouragement is that all of us focus on how we are wonderfully made by God. He has made each of us in His image. Psalm 139:13-16 says:
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
         before a single day had passed.
You are wonderfully made, and you are complex! Every one of our cells has its own specialized function and each cell has a specific timetable which tells it when to grow, when to divide, and when to die. Every minute of every day, some three billion cells in your body die and the same number are created to take their place. There are over 37 trillion cells in the human body.  Our brain is the most complex system in our body and has 86 billion neurons, all of which are in use, and they communicate with other neurons in your brain. Each neuron communicates with up to 10,000 other neurons at a time and they send signals to each other by way of 100 trillion synaptic connections which share information. You are wonderfully made and complex! But it gets better.  God is always with us. Verses 17-18 say the following:
17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
    They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
    they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
    you are still with me!
God didn’t just make us and then skedaddle, to never be heard of again. He is directly involved in our lives. He thinks about us all the time. We are part of His constant care and concern. His thoughts toward us are so many that David compared it to the grains of sand. What, then, do we do?
Well, we know we are to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind.  And we are to love others as ourselves.  One way this is realized is through dedicating your life to God and allowing God to use you.  The apostle Paul said in Ephesians 2:10:
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
We are God’s workmanship.  His masterpiece and the grand finale of all creation.  Isn’t that amazing? But we humans make a problem of this and instead of being who God created us to be, we often compare ourselves to others which leads to feel superior or, more often, inadequate. For example:
  • We make physical comparisons to others, and when this occurs, we often compare their best feature against our average feature, such as height, weight, nose, hair, etc.
  • We make comparisons of the strengths of others versus what we don’t have, such as speaking ability, organizational skills, being a natural around people, having the gift of gab, etc.
  • We make comparisons of what people have versus what we don’t have, such as a house, car, vacations, money, etc.
  • Finally, we make comparisons on where people are in life versus our situation, such as marriage, divorce, health, family, etc.

The problem is when you compare yourself to others, you either feel better or worse about yourself.  And that creates pride, envy, and jealousy, which God is against. When you put your wants and desires first, you are telling God, “I want what he/she has because I don’t like what You have given me.”

A classic Biblical example of this is Moses.  When you read his story, you discover he was an insecure person.  Specifically, he whined to God that he was not a good public speaker, and begged God to pick someone else to confront Pharaoh and lead the Hebrews out of Egypt.  This fear of public speaking is valid and is true today because in survey after survey, the number one fear for people is often public speaking.

So, how do you think Moses came up with the idea he wasn’t a good speaker?  I think he simply compared himself to other people whom he felt were good speakers. God was gracious and gave him his brother Aaron to help him, but Moses must have overcome this because in Acts 7:22 Stephen described Moses as being “mighty in his words.”

The bottom line is that we cannot fill a person’s shoes as they did.  That’s a phrase you probably have heard: “You can’t fill these shoes.” To say “I could never do it like he/she does it” is just wrong.  You weren’t created to fill that person’s shoes as they did. God has uniquely and precisely created you and me with specific gifts and talents to do exactly what He’s called us to do.
Remember, God made you to be you. You can’t fill their shoes, but you can be used uniquely by God to serve and glorify Him!
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