I've been doing a Bible Study on Esther for the past several weeks. Beth Moore wrote the study and I love how she teaches. This past week she taught on using the gifts God has given you, and being caught up in the world's perception of greatness and God's perception of greatness.
She used part of an article written in More Magazine by Laura Fraser as an illustration. It's called "My So-Called Genius":
"If your entire identity is wrapped up in the magnificent things you're destined to achieve -- as a great writer, musician, scientist, politician, chef -- the thought that you might produce something mediocre can be devastating. Better, it seems, to hold on to the idea that you could be great than to risk being merely good, or to fail altogether."
Beth Moore goes on to write
“Do you HAVE to do something great? Can you be happy to do something really good?
And then the next line really clenched it for me:
“Could the craving to do something great keep you from doing something good?”
I’ve been pondering this all morning.
I’ve never really had illusions of grandeur when I became an adult. I did expect (and have) happily ever after in a realistic sense. I do remember being told from time to time when I was in my teens to young adult that I was going to be/do something really special..that God’s got a special plan for me. I never really saw it, though, never really knew just what that meant. Until now.
My identity can’t be summed up in one, concise word. My identity is made up of several things. Celebrating and using the gifts God has given me. From encouragement to embellishing! And then I thought about being ‘special’..
Encouragement (and embellishing) generally comes easy for me. So I don’t think of it as special. But say that to a person (like my husband) who is not gifted in that department. He often comments to me how amazed he is at how I seem to know *just* the right thing to say to people to encourage them. I thought he told me that because he loves me and was just being nice! But I feel the same way about my friend, Laura, who is an amazing singer and comedienne. Or my friend, Sue T. who graduated college and became a nurse in her mid-forties! And Sue S., who is THE most organized person I know, who cleans mansions for a living and loves it. Says it’s the best exercise…Toni, who is a wonderful help-mate to her husband so he can be great at his job, who teaches and mentors young women, and who is one of the most devoted grandmas I’ve seen.
And then there are all of you who are my blogger-friends! You display and share your God-given gifts to bring inspiration, encouragement, wisdom, and humor to the world! ;-)
I have found that, for me, I stop dead in my tracks when I start to think of something I want to do, but fear I won’t be great at it. Those things that I listed about my friends that they are good at~well, I struggle with. So, when I read that question from Beth, “Could the craving to do something great keep me from doing something good?” has really gotten to me. And given me a new perspective.
What about you? Is the craving to do something great keeping you from doing something good? And if you think instead “I am going to do something really good”….what does that look like to you?
I am really interested to hear your responses!