Yesterday I spent my entire Saturday working on becoming the best me that I can be. I have always wanted to grow — become stronger, smarter, and healthier. My impetus, however, is not so that I can compete with others. It’s because of my need to serve. I can’t fully serve with the same knowledge and skills I acquired 10 years ago. In order to effectively serve others, I have to continually grow and refine my practices.
Part of the refining process started four years ago when I left the classroom. I didn’t really want to leave, but I knew it was time. I began discovering who I was — what was good and unique as well as what was bad and common. As I privately worked on those attributes that were less desirable, I prayed that God would also equip me with resources and human capital to smooth out my rough, sharp edges. That took honesty. Being honest with yourself about who you are isn’t as easy as being honest with your friends, spouse, or coworkers about who they are. If you’re truly honest about your self-assessment and want to change, you’ll be motivated to do the work necessary for improvement. Conversely, if you are honest with yourself and have accepted this quality as just being part of who you are, you’ll find that it will cause static among those closest to you. Until you decide to go toe to toe with your ugly parts, you will be going toe to toe with people in all the beautiful parts of your life.
As I entered the classroom at my mega church and surveyed the room, I chose a table toward the back of the room — something atypical for me. I typically sit in the front. Of all the people in the room, this was the only table filled with people who were laughing and chatting. My quick read of the room allowed me to find my happy place for the next seven hours. I promised that I would be on my best behavior — no talking when the teacher is talking, no loud yawning, and no criticism of teaching methods. Teachers are the worst students sometimes, and I can honestly assess myself and say that I’ve been a bad student. It’s not pretty, but it’s the truth.
The class began with lots of vocabulary, and I love words (a little too much at times).Then we took our first assessment to determine our spiritual gifts. This part was short. It helped me to see which gifts I definitely didn’t have, like hospitality and intercession. Although I want everyone to feel welcome, comfortable, and happy, I don’t want to be in charge of that. Others are better suited to make people feel warm and fuzzy. I will never be the first to offer my house as the place for family and friends to stay for the week. I will, however, pay for your hotel stay. Along the same lines, I’ll pray for you as the Spirit reminds me to or if you ask me to, but I won’t remember to do it over the course of many months and years. I’m just not wired that way.
I’ve beat myself up about this over the years — thinking that I should be more hospitable and a more devoted prayer warrior. Now that I know that it’s not necessarily selfish, I can cut myself some slack and focus on those spiritual gifts that I do have instead of trying to gift myself with things that aren’t meant to be mine. If this post resonates with you, please share it with others on your social media sites. As members of the body of Christ, we should all strive to make each member as healthy and strong as possible.
If you’d like to know what my spiritual gifts are, I’ll share them in my post on Tuesday. Make sure you stop by to check that out. I learned a few powerful revelations about my personality as well. In the meantime, scroll down to the comments and try to predict what my spiritual gifts are. Feel free to share yours with me as well. May blessings abound!