God never intended for you to live a mediocre, average life. You are designed for excellence, and you were uniquely created. Instead of being one in a million, you are actually one in about six billion! Yet there’s nobody else exactly like you; you are unique.

Everybody wants to be recognized. In fact, not only do you want to be recognized, but you need recognition, for the sake of your own emotional health and image. When my daughter Amy was very young, she would say to me, “Watch me, Daddy, watch me, Daddy!” She wanted to be recognized. She wanted to stand out from the crowd.

We as adults do the same thing, except we don’t do it as blatantly. We do it with our cars and our clothing and our homes. All the time we’re saying, “Watch me—everybody look at me!” Most of us have a need in our lives to be different, to be excellent, and to stand out from everybody else.


First Chronicles 4:9–10 tells us about a man named Jabez. The first nine chapters of this book consist of genealogies, with a listing of more than six hundred names. Right in the middle of all these names God singles out one man for special recognition, and his name is Jabez.

There are only two verses in the entire Bible on this man, yet he is given an honorable mention above six hundred other people. Why did God single out this man? What did he do that caused his name to be preserved for over four thousand years? What made him above average? The Bible says, “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, ‘I gave birth to him in pain’ ” (v. 9). (Jabez is the Hebrew word for “pain.”)

Jabez prayed to God, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain” (v. 10). And God granted his request.

There were three secrets to this man’s life, revealing three principles that can make your life above average too.

Rick Warren, God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).

We have just released a new Bible Study based on Rick Warren’s book, God’s Answer to Life’s Difficult Questions.

These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.

Lessons include:

How to Cope with Stress

How Can I Rebound from Failure?

How Can I Defeat Depression?

How Can I Live Above Average?

How Can I Have Peace of Mind?

How Can I Handle Discouragement?

How Can I Overcome My Problems?

How Can I Be Confident In a Crisis?

How Can I Ever Change?

How Did I Get Myself in To This Mess?

How Can I Overcome Loneliness?

Why Is This Happening to Me?