Recently, in conversation with a dear friend of mine, we shared with each other what it means to have accomplished something – what it looked like for each of us. It turns out, we have some overlapping ideas of what being accomplished means to us. For me, it manifests as having a particular variety of academic degree and publishing written work in the right journal or under a certain publishing company.
So, when someone says, for instance, “Zondervan just published my book on mindfulness in the workplace and I’m leaving on a book tour next week,” I feel like a loser because, sure, I have a published work, but it was through Wipf&Stock and without any sweet promotion deal. Or another person I know has a PhD from Princeton, so my doctorate from Denver Seminary seems less impressive by comparison.
What? You’ve secured a professorship and you lead worship and you have kids, and you’ve written how many books? I am such a slacker! What am I doing with my life?!
Paul says to the Corinthian church, “it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you … each of you says, ‘I belong to Paul’, or ‘I belong to Apollos’, or ‘I belong to Cephas’, or ‘I belong to Christ.’ 13Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16(I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom [a PhD], so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.”