How to Shine in the Shadow of Greats

How to Shine in the Shadow of Greats

Have you ever thought about what it would have been like to be one of Jesus’s 12 disciples? And how to shine like His one of His greats? I often place myself among them when reading the gospels. But think about it. It’s not like just any follower of Christ was invited to the inner circle. He had thousands of people surrounding Him daily. What makes me think I would be one of the lucky elite?

If Jesus had 5000 followers (and we know He had many more), His lucky dozen would have been in the top .002%. I might have just been that guy sitting 30 rows back in the stage left section up on the grassy hill, lost amongst the sea of people.

What if you were one of Jesus’ 12 disciples?

How would you feel about yourself? What an honor that would be! You would have known Him in a way nobody else could. You would have been given the secrets of the kingdom before anyone else. You would have been entrusted with great responsibility, power, and anointing. What an incredible privilege!

But I have another question to ponder.

What if, being one of the twelve, you were Andrew, Bartholomew, James the son of Alpheus, Thaddeus, or Simon the Zealot? In other words…

What if you were one of those who were rarely mentioned?

You would always be in the shadows of the more famous ones, such as Peter, James, and John. Would you be ok with this?

I don’t know about you, but I have often found myself in situations where, although I know God has called me and considers me one of His greats because He is a good Daddy, I still found myself surrounded by people who seem much greater…at least on the scale of popularity. When I compare myself with them, I find myself battling with insecurities.

I want to share 3 ways that help me gain personal victories so I, too, can thrive when this happens.

How to shine when feeling small:

  1. Remember where I stand in God’s eyes

It is easy to find our self-worth in the opinions of man. The more popular someone with this outlook becomes, the easier it is to feel good about oneself. On the flip side, the more popular our peers become, the smaller we feel.

But our value doesn’t come from the opinions of people. If so, we would be less stable than the stock market! Our value comes from one place only—God.

SO WHAT if my shadow is not the first one the throngs of people seek to touch. I still am right next to Jesus, and nothing else really matters! SO WHAT if I’m a Bartholomew instead of a Peter. I am still one of His chosen ones!

He chose me, not the other way around. And He thinks I am pretty incredible! His opinion of me is the only one that establishes me. He loves me just as I am! I would rather be popular in heaven than on earth.

  1. Choose to be part of the team

What is more important: the part or the whole? Jesus didn’t surround Himself with a dozen individual rock stars; He surrounded Himself with a power team.

My problem often is that I want to be a hero. That’s not necessarily bad, except when the focus becomes too much about me instead of the family. A unified body is a lot more powerful than the sum of its parts.

When I focus too much on me, I become isolated. And that’s when I enter into self-comparison and performance mentality to prove myself. The best way to break this is to honor the people God has surrounded me with and join the family adventure. This sets me up to grow alongside the ones who are beyond me.

  1. It’s not about me; it’s about Jesus

This is the most important thing to remember in all of life. If I keep my focus on what this is all really about, I never have to feel like I am missing out. Jesus is the only person worthy of praise, adoration, and exaltation.

If I keep my eyes there, then I can celebrate any amazing feats that happen on this earth, regardless of who performed them, because all glory goes to God anyway. I should be able to rejoice in the glory of God being revealed regardless of who the vessel was.

The cool thing is that we are all significant. The sky is the limit to how far God can take a laid down lover.

Thomas, who was rarely mentioned in the Bible except for being a doubter, went on to bring great revival to India and establish a movement of Christianity that survives strong even to this day. I don’t think he picked up the “underdog-syndrome” just because Peter, James, and John got more press.

Give me Jesus and the rest doesn’t really matter. I just want Him to get the glory through my life.




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