If you’ve read here for any length of time, you know that I love sharing quality books with you. Today’s post comes from Jonathan Malm, author of the newly released, Created For More: 30 Days to Seeing Your World in a New Way.
Having a last name like “Malm” pretty much paints a target on your back in elementary school.
Frankly, any unique name will make you a victim of taunting.
“Are you going to send me to my room, Malmy?”
“I’m going to go the shopping Malm later today.”
“Oh look, it’s a Malm tree!” (Hey, nobody said elementary kids were particularly creative.)
So many times I wished my last name was Smith. Nobody could make fun of my name if I was Tom Smith. I truly wished I was different—and by different, I meant exactly like my other friends.
I wanted Tom’s name, Kenny’s accent, Jesse’s haircut, and Jed’s style. I was jealous of each of them in turn. I didn’t realize until later, though, that I had won the luck of the draw.
This whole jealousy concept reminds me of a story from the Bible, about David and Saul. Saul was the king at the time. And David was one of the top soldiers in Saul’s army. David had proven himself loyal to the king countless times.
But in 1 Samuel 18:8-9 (NLT), Saul starts comparing himself to David.
[Saul] said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
The ridiculous thing about Saul’s jealousy was that he was already king. And not only was he king, but young David looked up to him and admired him.
He wasn’t a threat. He was an ally.
Saul had the kingdom, but he wanted David’s accolades. He neglected to see what he truly had—the whole kingdom!
That’s the danger when we compare our art with others’. When we compare what we have with what others have. We neglect to see that God’s given us a kingdom. He’s given us something unique that nobody else has.
Now that I’m far away from elementary school, I’ve begun embracing what I have. I’ve embraced my name, accent, hair, and style. In fact, I’m grateful I didn’t have what Tom, Kenny, Jesse, and Jed had.
- When you Google “Jonathan Malm”, I’m the first result. Tom Smith is nowhere to be found.
- I’m grateful for my neutral accent. Kenny’s Texan accent, now that I think of it, was actually quite annoying.
- Jesse’s bald.
- Jed looked like a lumberjack.
It’s foolish when we compare ourselves with others. God made me unique. He gave me a voice and a platform nobody else has. And he’s done the same for you.
Resist the urge to compare yourself to other artists and other writers.
You are unique.
You have a unique voice and a unique platform. God’s given you a kingdom to rule, stop looking at others.
Now I’d love to hear from you. Who did you compare yourself to when you were younger? What did you wish you could change about yourself? And what unique opportunities have you found in those things?
Jonathan Malm is a creative entrepreneur and writer. He is the author of Created for More, a 30-day devotional to help you develop a more creative mind. You’ll find him in San Antonio, Texas, roasting his own coffee beans and enjoying life with his Argentine wife, Carolina.