Who are you? Where do you come from? What do you do?
Are these familiar questions? More often than not these are the questions raised by someone you meet for the first time or just recently met. What can be a good thing – questions to try to get to know and understand each other, could be turned into an ugly monster too.
The world and most cultures too I guess, ‘value’ a person based on skills, achievements, talents, personality, bank balances, titles, appearance… in a nutshell based on stuff. We see this kind of value being drilled into us even from childhood. “Let’s see who does it faster? Let’s see who is smarter? Let’s see who is going to come first?…” The ‘better’ concept is grounded even at a tender age forming the worldview. (Mind you worldviews of individuals are formed by the age of 5). COMPETITION begins right there too..
Obviously, I wasn’t exempt from all this either. Besides I come from a comparative heritage too! In fact I remember as a child growing up in the UK, I would just scribble down my work clumsily in the target of being first to finish what was given. My report card used to always have the comment that I needed to learn to be patient, set my work neatly and improve on my handwriting and craft work. All the rest of the gradings were ‘Excellent’. Of course that wasn’t good enough for my mother and she just made sure that my writing was perfected. Somewhere along the line I became a perfectionist, my hand writing was admired by all and I had to sit and copy notes for so many people – hand written notes. Craft also became my thing. In fact it wasn’t just my parents who put pressure on me – it was along the generations. Your assets and education is how much you are respected… and now I’m the outcast in the eyes of many as I choose not to live to those standards of achievements of ‘bigger or more is better’.
God has worked within me a whole lot and I can see a whole lot more to go the more I reflect on the way I respond in each and every situation. As I wrote in my previous blog post, God has been emphasising on the TRANSFORMING and RENEWING. Unlearning stuff we learnt and mimicked from our ancestors, from our cultures, from the world trends and thanks to social media now the world is brought to our electronics and hence is just around us competing for attention.
Unlearning patterns to be able to renew isn’t easy.. it’s like not just rebooting our minds but rather reformatting our minds… it’s changing our values and priorities.. it’s changing our definitions of stuff.. and it’s being led by the Holy Spirit every second of the way according to God’s Will for each person.
He also began to nudge and nudge and nudge and finally a little sharper nudge at the Martha side of me.. showing me that I was still trying to find my worth and approval in doing things and getting a pat on the back from others. In fact to be honest, after coming to Sri Lanka, I have found here that it’s my talents and skills that end up causing rivals. No, it’s not that I boast about it but I have learnt to juggle and multi task so much as my mum used to push me to do better and better and more and more things.. So I can do a whole lot of stuff too which helped me become more and more independent. I am by nature an introvert but by force became an extrovert as we moved around..
As most people mistakenly place their identities in what they can do or what they have achieved, when they find someone else coming along their way and doing it ‘better’ than them, they can’t handle it. Invariably there will be others out there who will be better in the way we see it..
Yet if we find our worth in the fact that we are HIS children and that makes us all princes and princesses, royalty with the King Himself as our Father, then we realise that not just me but all of us who have embraced the Heavenly Father are precious. We also realise that every single person whether they believe in Jesus or not, were created by the Living God in His image then we realise they are precious too – as precious as we are. Of course our choices lead to our consequences but not because any of us are less favoured or precious to God!
In taking me along the journey of faith, God taught me that I deserve a ‘life’, my needs to be met, simply because I was HIS child.. not because of my capabilities. (More of the lessons in details will be in my upcoming book “Break Bear Bless” for which I ask for your intercession over the necessary steps for the release). He showed me it’s not our achievements but rather our BEING that makes Him delight in us. We are not human ‘doings’ but human ‘beings’. Through our relationship with HIM the ‘doing’ of what He wants us to do – not be driven by our own agendas but to be led by His perfect plan and be Kingdom minded above all things. We are royalty but we love one another as ourselves…
When we place our worth in our capabilities and achievements, is when we begin to be threatened of our existence as we see others who are comparable or better in what is that we do. We then withhold our secrets and our tips as we don’t want us to ‘overtake’ us and thus us lose our ‘pride’. Yes, it’s PRIDE which comes before a fall.
And as our ‘doing’ gets threatened out pops all the negative feelings such as envy, anger, jealousy, revenge, undercutting… At the base of it was SELFISH AMBITION which is an act of the fleshly nature. Selfish ambition is placed in the list along with sexual immorality – no sin is greater sin than the other.. they are the same!
If we are Kingdom minded, we will be ‘one another’ oriented. We recognise that each one’s talents do not need to be compared and each one is unique.. and we appreciate each others skills.. in fact we try to pool in the skills! We desire and will be able to identify areas of gifts and talents in another and try our best to help them grow and operate in that which God has called them to do. If we truly love God with ALL our heart and soul and mind and strength, we will love our neighbour as ourselves.. and in that we won’t be under-cutting or pushing away or labelling but rather we will like Paul says use our God given authority to build up one another.
To do this, we need to find our worth and value in BEING… in being His beloved child.