Recently as part of an exercise for training I have to do as a volunteer, I had to ask a few people about my strengths and weaknesses. While I wasn’t surprised by the responses (That is good, right?), I also learned that many of these strengths are also my greatest weaknesses.
Because while I am caring, passionate, and can handle multiple tasks, I am also too caring, too passionate, and find it hard to say “no.”
Because I care too much, I also care too much about what others think. I hate criticism, and in the process of being picked apart, I start picking at myself even more.
Because I am too passionate, I take on the burdens, worries, and struggles of the world around me. In the process I get worn down, beat up, broken, and used up.
Because I resist the urge to say “no” in the fear of disappointing someone, I take on too much, and then I fail. I disappoint someone despite trying to do it all, and I once again feel worn down, beat up, broken, and used up.
While I have many friends who do a great job celebrating my strengths, I also have a number of people who love to celebrate my weaknesses.
Unfortunately, this is the place I tend to dwell.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
It’s that thief. The one that prowls around to remind me of my inadequacies that I often allow into my head. The one that allows a hurtful comment to fester in my heart, until I start believing the liar that tells me I am not good enough. I could never measure up to those who came before me. I’m weak. I’m not equipped. I’m “Bible stupid.” I’m a big, fat failure.
I forget too often that these lies are the very ones God wants me to put to rest. The God who tells me I am loved beyond measure. I am strong. I am equipped and He has given me the wisdom to do His will. That I could never fail Him.
However, people will turn their backs on you. But, God always has our back!
People will leave you. God is always with you.
People will be against your ideas, your dreams, your plans. God is always for you. Cheering you on to fulfill His ideas. His dreams. His plans.
People will hurt you, criticize you, and pick you apart. God will protect you, love you, and set you apart.
People will disappear when you need their support the most. God will never leave you lonely. He carries our burdens when everyone else disappears.
People will forever disappoint. But, God will never let us down!
So, from one people pleaser to another. Let’s remember our aim is not to please the world. Our aim is not to please and live out the dreams of others.
Our aim is to live for Him. Please Him. Do His will. Because His applause and His approval is really the only one I want to strive to receive. The only applause that will never cease. The applause and pat on the back that the world could never give.