Keeping Up with the Joneses

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By Tamara D. Fickas

We are bombarded with opportunities these days to compare ourselves to others. The media is resplendent with pleas to see how you stack up against the hotshot writer, the most awesome athlete, or the most influential politician. It runs rampant in the workforce also. One worker is compared to another when it comes time for raises or promotions. In schools, students are graded on curves in relation to the rest of the class. Writers aren’t immune to this, even Christian writers. We are a society that doesn’t only want to keep up with the Joneses; we want to know we are better than the Joneses.

As Christians, though, we really are just living and writing for an audience of one. God doesn’t require us to be better than anyone else. He doesn’t look at us in comparison to our neighbor, coworker, or the multitude of great writers out there. He measures us against our own potential.

I admit this has been a hard concept for me. I get sucked into the hype of the media and corporate world. When I was in school, I found myself working to be smarter, better, more prepared than my classmates. It is tiring to always try to be better, more. In the writing world, I often see others succeeding and my little voice kicks in goading me to be better than them.

God doesn’t ask us to be better than the Joneses. Psalm 139 tells us He knew us while we were being knitted together in our mother’s womb. He had a plan for our words from the beginning. The reality is He doesn’t require us to surpass each other. All He really cares about is if we are open to His leading. He wants us to be who He created us to be. He wants us to surpass who we are in the flesh and become more like Him.

When we are so busy trying to create ourselves in the image of some star, mentor, or famous author we are missing the chance to be the one He created. And, God has let me in on a little secret as He and I have explored this idea. If I am busy focusing on being me and living up to His expectations for my writing, I will be exactly what I am supposed to be. I won’t have to worry if my work is a New York Times Bestseller. Being on God’s Bestseller list is such a better place to be.  The world may not appreciate my work, but God will and in that, my words will be exactly what someone needs to read.

Tamara Fickas – Christian, storyteller, writer, speaker, encourager. She lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her beloved kitty boy, Wilson. When not writing she loves adventures, time with her dad, reading, and making people laugh. Life experiences, her vivid imagination, coffee, and Hot Tamales fuel her writing. Visit Tamara at

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