Who am I? How we see ourselves will determine how we live our lives. You can have all the skills and ability to accomplish a task but if you don’t believe in yourself then you will fail. Many of us can achieve so much more than we believe but perhaps fear is holding us back or maybe we been told we’re no good and we have believed it.
I guess the opposite can also be true. If you’ve ever watched the X-factor you see that some people are encouraged despite their lack of talent. We all need good friends around us who will spur us on and who will also be truthful with us about who we are and also what we are and aren’t good at.
When you look at Jesus’ calling of his disciples you see that his strategy is to pick ordinary people. He called people who were surprised to be chosen by a Rabbi and although they may not have believed in themselves, Jesus believed in them. Jesus saw their potential and called them to follow him. As they travelled with him he encouraged them but he was also honest with them about how they needed to grow in their faith.
Do we listen to Jesus about who we are? Do we have people around us who will be honest with us about our flaws?
Many years ago I worked with Paula who took me out to lunch one day. Work was enjoyable and it felt like I was doing well and so I was expecting to be encouraged. We sat down and ordered and then Paula explained she wanted to talk with me about something. I was waiting for praise but she began to talk to me about the arrogance she saw in me. I was 19 and gifted and I was used to people telling me how good I was in ministry with young people. I may have been effective in some ways but I was also immature in my approach to life and Paula was the first person to tell me so. When young people are enthusiastic followers of Jesus it is easy to just praise them but Jesus’ approach was to develop maturity in people. Character is as important as gifting to Jesus.
So I was being told I was arrogant. How should I have responded? I guess the arrogant thing to do would have been to dismiss the accusation stating that I didn’t need help. Instead I asked for some examples of what she meant because I couldn’t see it. Several examples later I began to understand and my life began to change for the better as I accepted what she was saying and I made a decision to change.
Do we want to grow? It’s easy to surround ourselves with people who will just be nice to us but to become mature we need people like my friend Paula. We also need to read the Bible more and to accept what it is saying to us.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right (2 Timothy 3.16).
I want to see myself positively but I also want to see myself in the light of God’s truth. May we grow in life and faith as we see more clearly who we are and as we choose to do what is right.