Signposts: Daily Devotions

Monday, July 21

So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything but only God who gives the growth.
—1 Corinthians 3:7

Shakespeare wrote that comparisons are odious. Yet, we spend countless hours comparing ourselves to others in an effort to prove to ourselves that who we are and what we do is worthwhile. Trying to make a difference in the world around us, looking for a worthwhile purpose in life, expecting to get results from our labor, hoping that our efforts are more fruitful than the efforts of others, these are all ways in which we try to give meaningful identity and expression to our lives. It’s why failure can be so depressing.

Failure seems to put a spotlight on our inadequacy. We begin to feel like our life is a theatre and our failure is being viewed by every spectator who has come to the show. Our identity feels shaky and we want to turn away from ourselves and everyone else who is obviously so much more capable than we are.

We do have an important part to play in the unfolding of life, but we do not have to do it all. We do not have to always do it right. We do not have to be perfect. Our part is our part, and the heart of heaven makes up whatever is lacking.

So, relax. Who you are is not dependent on how you measure up to others. It is not dependent on how solid your results are. It is not dependent on how perfect you are. You only have to be yourself, play your part with joy and ease, and trust that, in God's eyes, we are all beloved.

O God, let me drop my fascination with being perfect, and let me freely be the one you have created me to be.

The Signposts for July are written by Renée Miller and originally appeared on in 2004.