Not long ago, I met my friend for breakfast for our weekly appointment. The way it works is that one of us just starts talking about what is happening in our life that week. (Well, we try to wait until after we pray for breakfast first, but you get the picture!)
Over the meal, we both talk about what is going on…and usually get peppered with questions by the other one. She is often quite organized about it and has topics she plans to discuss. (She also gets up at 5:30 AM, has her morning devotional and think time and sometimes has done her grocery shopping by the time we meet!) Do I feel lazy? Of course, but I can’t dwell on it. My work schedule and my body function much better on a later timetable. I come to life about 11 AM! I’m also up later at night. Neither is better, we’re just different.
One topic we discussed that day, had to do with some projects each of us are working on. She had been concerned about her style of doing her project and had not written up some ideas that came to mind because they seemed too simple (maybe boring?) She was becoming aware that maybe she should not worry about being like other people but doing her project in the way that is unique to her. (YESSSS!)
All during her explanation of what she had been thinking and the process she had been going through, I kept saying, “But what about…?” “But…” “But…” Each time I would try to say something, she would quietly stop me and say, “Martha, let me finish my thought. I know what you are going to say. You want to encourage me, but let me tell you about the process.” I then went on to say some things she didn’t expect, and in the end, it was encouraging too…of course! (*joke* I do tend to encourage though…I just can’t keep my mouth shut with all the questions that are popping up in my head when people are talking:)
God gifts us with abilities that we often are unaware of. Since we have always had them, we don’t realize they are special! We assume that the abilities we have are common to others; that the lives of all around us are running perfectly well and smoothly; that we are the only ones who mess up.
That kind of thinking is not helpful for many reasons but particularly in areas of growth. When we think that way, we lose the courage it takes to take the risks needed for further growth.
Here is the truth!
God has gifted you with a unique set of talents and abilities. Don’t discount the overlooked abilities of being able to make people feel comfortable when they are with you, having a tender, caring heart, being able to focus on a task and see it through to completion, etc.
There is no one whose life is running smoothly and perfectly. Often, those who work the hardest at giving that impression are trying to cover the most mess.
Remember that the reason you think your life is the most messy is because you have the most intimate knowledge of your life! I know that sounds pretty basic, but we don’t stop to think about that. Only YOU know the true state of your marriage, the status of the relationships close to you. Just because others don’t talk about them, doesn’t mean they aren’t having some of the same problems.
So where is the problem? WHEN YOU COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS! That is the killer! If you can look at the gifts God has given you and use them for His glory and celebrate Him with those gifts, all will be well. But what happens? We look around as the servants in one of the parables did and ask, “Why did you give him that and me the same amount for working a lot longer?” In that parable, Jesus said, “Because I’m in control of this situation. We each agreed to t!he salary I would pay and you have nothing to complain about.”
So, let me put it here in black and white! YOU ARE A UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL…created in the image of God! The implications of this are profound…and worth more than the cost of any book on improving your self-image!
Originally, I wrote this for Thoughtful Thursday. I never finished it. Now I’m done so will link it to Some Girls Website delightful Thoughtful Thursday again. If you haven’t been there before, pop over and take a look. There are links from others who write thoughtful articles there.