When you don’t feel successful

Have you ever found yourself in a position where you have helped others get to where they want to be, whether that be in life, business and/or ministry, and before you know it, they’ve become “successful” and you’re left wondering what happened to you? Why haven’t you seen some of the successes that they are seeing? Why are you being left out and forgotten? Why are you always stuck working “behind the scenes?”

The other day as Luke and I were driving around town, I was thinking about the women that God has given me the opportunity to help move forward in their goals and dreams. And as I thought about these women and how far they have come and how successful they’ve become, I’ll admit, I had a yucky feeling rise up in me.

A feeling of, “goodness, look at how awesome these women are doing and yet, I feel so behind.” They are seeing some incredible successes and yet, at times, I feel like I’m still struggling to see some, still struggling to “get there.” Questions like, “What am I doing wrong?” were starting to flood my mind and “Why is it when I pour out everything to help others, they end up seeing all the positive results while I’m still here wondering when it will be ‘my turn?’”

Can you relate?

Yes, I was happy for them, but at the same time, I was discouraged and if I’m honest, a little mad on the inside.

You see, there is a “thought” out there that goes along these lines: “If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to build theirs.” And honestly, I don’t completely agree with this. Let me explain.

What if God calls you to help others succeed? What if God calls you to be the right hand woman of an upfront leader? What if God calls you to be an encourager who supports and serves someone who becomes “successful” in the eyes of others?

When I think about it, I believe that many of us are called to do just this. We may be called to help bring about the vision that someone else has been given from God; a co-leader, a “right hand woman.” Should we feel that this is a lesser calling? Should we feel “less than” when they experience success in ways that we were hoping to experience success? Absolutely not!

The Bible offers multiple examples of this. For instance:

  • Nehemiah was a cupbearer to a foreign king. He served the king on a daily basis.
  • Joseph served Potiphar for many years. And it wasn’t until he found favor that he became overseer of Potiphar’s house.
  • Daniel served King Nebuchadnezzar in several positions in the government.
  • Ruth: Served her mother-in-law.
  • Timothy: Served Paul.
  • Titus: Served Paul.
  • Esther was chosen as queen by the Persian King Ahasuerus and she served him on a daily basis.

All of these biblical heroes started off by serving someone else, helping bring about the vision/calling of an upfront leader, before God moved them to another position of leadership and “success.” Some were heroes because they were the right hand and not because they were the upfront leaders in the beginning.

So, this brings me back to the quote above: If God calls you to help bring about the dream that He has given someone else, there is no shame in that. That doesn’t make you less of a person, because her success is your success. We were not put here on this earth to only think about ourselves, but rather, we were put here to impact the lives of others. As Christine Caine says, “Someone else’s success doesn’t rob you of anything.”

The key thing we need to hold onto is this: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” ~ Luke 10:2

You see, there is room for everyone! There is a big harvest out there and when we have the opportunity to help someone make an impact, we should be celebrating with them, not comparing, becoming envious or sad. You’ve been given gifts, skills and talents to do just that; to help others succeed in the calling that God has given them.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” ~ 1 Peter 4:10

As Mark Batterson says, “Your greatest legacy isn’t your dream; it’s the dreams you inspire in others.”

What you do matters. There is eternal significance in helping others reach their God given dreams. Don’t hold back on helping others succeed. Don’t see the success of others as a threat to your success. Don’t believe the lie that life is passing you by. Remember, the harvest is plentiful and as long as you keep doing what you’ve been called to do, God will not only bless the people who partner with you, but in turn, He will bless you too!

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests, but each of you to the interests of the others” ~ Philippians 2:3-4

Share with me below, how is God using you to help others succeed?

Jen Bennett

Dr. Jen Bennett is the Social Media/Communication Specialist and Project Manager at iBloom. Jen’s passion is helping businesses, ministries and individuals, #BeWorthFollowing. Jen enjoys speaking, training, and writing on all things that inspire and help leaders build a digital footprint and personal brand that is different and that helps them stand out and influence people in a crowded and noisy social media world.

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