1 Chronicles 2:3
“The sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah: which three were born unto him of the daughter of Shua the Canaanitess. And Er, the firstborn of Judah, was evil in the sight of the LORD; and he slew him.”
As you read through the names in the Book of Chronicles, rarely do names stand out. However, there are a few names when God is giving the genealogy that He paused to give a little more insight into an individual. These whom God paused to point out stood out among the rest. Who were these that stood out among the rest?
The first person who stood out was Er. God said that Er “was evil in the sight of the LORD.” The second person who stood out among the rest was Achar. God said the reason he stood out was because he was the “troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the thing accursed.” There is a third person who stood out and his name was Jabez. In chapter 4, God pointed out that Jabez was “more honourable than his brethren.” Three people in different times stood out among the rest. Two of the three stood out because of their wickedness, and one stood out because of his character, desire and accomplishments. There are some lessons that can be learned from these three men about standing out among the rest.
First, standing out among the rest doesn’t make you better than everyone else. Sin can make a person stand out among the rest. What is interesting about these three men is that none of them had a desire to stand out among the rest, but their desires and decisions caused them to stand out among the rest. It is imperative that you make sure your decisions and desires don’t cause you to stand out among the rest for the wrong reason.
Second, sin will make you stand out among the rest, but it will mar your name forever. It is sad that two of these men are known for their sin and not for any good that they had done. I’m sure that these men did some good in their life, but they were known for their sin because sin was their last act. Sin has a way of erasing the good you did for others. Whether or not you like it, sin always causes you to be remembered, but never for good. You can live a whole life doing good and let one sin get the best of you, and you will most likely be remembered for the one sin that caused you to stand out among the rest. My friend, if you don’t want all the good you have done to be forgotten, you had better be sure to deal with sin so that you don’t destroy your testimony.
Third, not settling for the desires of the crowd will always cause you to stand out among the rest. Jabez could have easily settled for doing what everyone else had done, but he wanted more for his life. Jabez never allowed tragedy to be an excuse to flounder. The tragedy of your life can either be the excuse to be mediocre or the stimulus to rise above the rest. It is your choice what you do with tragedy. You can be like Jabez who asked God not to allow tragedy to give you an evil heart, or you can let tragedy make you bitter and do evil.
My friend, this world needs people like Jabez who have a desire to take whatever life gives them and let it become the stimulus to cause them to stand out among the rest. Let me challenge you to ask God to use your tragedy of life to be the stimulus to “enlarge your coast” of life. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Let God turn your tragedy into triumph and you will stand out among the rest.