I have gifts, which I’ll doubt.
I have abilities, which I’ll take pride in.
I have character, which I’ll question.
If I rely on myself, I will be propelled forward by misguided intentions and a deep, but perhaps not vocalized, desire for an identity rooted in the praise and admiration of others.
I will seek and seek to find fulfillment in the perceived consistency of a self worth that is dictated by others but, what I will find instead is emptiness, loneliness and the nagging feeling that we were never meant to find our identity, purpose or worth in others.
For those others we look to are looking as well. They are sinful, inadequate, disappointed individuals on their own quest for a deeply rooted identity that propels them forward with an eternally focused purpose.
They are not the ones with the answers or solutions but fellow travellers on a journey to rely more completely on the One who promises us purpose if we place our trust, identity and worth in Him.
We are to be walking beside them and not toward them. Learning with them, not relying on them. Loving them but not looking for all our love in them.
Encouraging, inspiring, challenging and supporting one another freely, truly and unselfishly because we are drawing our encouragement, inspiration and primary source of support from the one well that will never run dry. The one God who will never disappoint. The one Saviour who embraced, loved and sanctified our sinful souls with His grace and sent His son because he loved us that much.
And as we depend on our God to define us, I truly think we will be able to let go, to lean in and learn something about the love and care He took to make us just as we are, to bless others through us and to continue to make us more like Him along the way.
To love the gifts He’s given us without doubting whether He can use them.
To be thankful for the abilities we display without making them an idol.
To recognize the character He is growing in us without questioning the process.
For if we can catch a glimpse of His intention, His foresight and His choice to love us and use us to accomplish His eternal purpose, I believe we will be free to grow in our gifts, abilities and character. Walking away from dependence on the approval of others and towards an incredible, ‘let your guard down,’ ‘love your neighbour,’ ‘live as though you were made for a purpose by a God whose plans cannot be frustrated’ kind of life for the time we’ve been given on this Earth.
For this weary, relationally charged, sometimes uncertain soul, it is a daily, weekly and yearly goal to walk in the freedom that comes from a heightened awareness of God’s secure, unchanging love for me and the realization that I was never meant to rely on myself but that I am lovable, loved, important, secure and full of purpose because of the God I serve who does not need me but chose me to be an integral, unique part of His plan nonetheless.
May I step into that freedom daily so that I can step away from the paralyzing, exhausting stress of needing to find and create my own significance and step toward the life-giving, breath-releasing joy of knowing that my significance (and the significance of those around me) has been sacrificially secured by a God on whom I can depend.
May we all just take a deep breath, step aside, lay down our misconceptions and know that this truth has the power to turn our disappointed, sinful, inadequate selves into content, redeemed, purposeful children of God whose dependence is placed firmly in a God who guides us, leads us and can never disappoint.
When given a choice between relying on myself or Christ, I want to choose Christ every time.
‘But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.’ 2 Corinthians 1:9