I don’t know about you, but this time of year really makes me think about what I wish I could do. The year being new brings a lot of hope into view and questions of what could be. However, dwelling on those questions can also get us into a mindset of thinking negatively about ourselves. Sure there are always things we can work on or improve upon, but to be thinking we aren’t good enough or can’t measure up won’t get us to where we need to be, where God wants us to be. Is there a balance in our thinking? How can we question ourselves and still have a positive outlook? If you are in this boat or wondering the same, keep reading and let me explain.
God has made all of us for a specific purpose. That means that all of us are created different, to do different things.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12: 6-8 (NIV)
With us all being different it is no wonder that when we look upon others who may be able to do some things better than us, we look down upon ourselves. However, just because we are different does not mean that we are bad in any way. In fact we are all equal in God’s eyes. All of us are needed. For example, if you have someone who has been gifted as a leader, but there are no followers, can the leader lead? No, what about if there were followers but no leader? Most likely they would run around in circles accomplishing a whole lot of nothing.
Even knowing all this it can be hard to accept that fact when it is applied to our life. Let me give you an example in my own life. I have a very dear friend of mine who is an amazing organizer. When I go to her house I always get the feeling that she has it all together. Her house is almost always picked up, organized and she seems so relaxed even in the middle of any chaos going on there. When we would go over she will pull out of her cabinets lots of yummy snacks for all the kids. The kids rooms would be pretty much spotless and organized. I always have a blast hanging out with this dear friend, but would leave feeling like I didn’t measure up as a mom. How come I can’t keep my house as clean or organized? Why don’t my kids keep their rooms as neat and tidy? How does she always have the perfect snacks ready for when we come over, even without notice? I would drive home to my somewhat disorganized house and feel guilty that I wasn’t as good of a wife or mom as her. Why didn’t God gift me with those abilities?
However, you know what?! Knowing this friend for quite a while we eventually ended up talking about all those feelings I was having. Turns out she was thinking similar thoughts about me. Really? How could she be thinking anything like what I was thinking? She may not have been wishing she could be more disorganized or less tidy, but she did wish that she could have a gifting with researching things and a thirst for knowledge that she just doesn’t possess. It turns out that we both have gifting in different areas that actually helped both of us.
Whenever I am really struggling to get something organized or just need someone to help motivate me to keep working on tidying up, this friend is the first one I call. Whenever she needs some help researching a big purchase or help with understanding how the newest gadgets work, she calls me. God is able to use each of our differences to help others. So instead of looking down on ourselves for not matching perfectly with others, we need to embrace who we are, who we are meant to be. Does that mean that I shouldn’t try to organize my house more? No of course not, but it does mean that I can stop beating myself up for not having a perfectly organized house. That if I am trying my best, that is all that I can do. That is all God would ask of me.
So maybe you struggle with organizing like me, or maybe you struggle with using new technology like my friend. No matter what you might struggle with God has gifted someone else you might even know with the ability to do those things. So instead of beating yourself up over it, use this lack of gifting to get to know someone new who has that gifting. It’s time to Embrace Who God Made YOU to Be.