My Full Potential

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I walked into the room and saw her singing softly, moving ever so gently to the music in her mind. It was a sweet moment and I wish I would have quietly stepped away. The moment I made my presence known, she stopped, embarrassed.

Are you self-conscious, aware of how you look, taking stock of what others are thinking about you?  At one time or another, we all are.  Sometimes the ‘posers’ are obvious, those who are doing their best to impress. Some take the opposite tack, trying to disappear into crowd, getting ‘lost in the sauce.’  Self-awareness serves a good purpose for us, keeping us from becoming obnoxious. Those who lack it, have no idea how they come across to others. When we allow ourselves to be totally governed by what we believe about the opinions of others, we lose ourselves. We say the things we hope will earn approval, doing things we do not want to do just to make someone else happy, or even acting in ways that run counter to our convictions, because ‘that’s what everyone is doing.

Christian, the fear of man is deadly and leads to idolatry.  Stern? Yes, but true.  Anytime we put someone else in the place at the center place that only God should occupy, we have created a false god.  If we turn into performers, driven by the need for approval, fear and her cousin, inferiority, will become our companions on the road of life.  We will seldom, if ever, experience the joy of simply ‘being’ when we are listening for praise of criticism of others.  A friend once reminded me:  “The voice of a single critic drowns out the voices of a hundred who praise.”  Performers are, by nature, desperately insecure people, always looking for the ovation.

The Scripture declares – “Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a place of refuge for their children. Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:26-27, NLT) God says, “Fear Me alone!”  He desires our reverence Him, that we will long only for His approval. “Skilled living gets its start in the Fear-of-God, insight into life from knowing a Holy God.” (Proverbs 9:10, The Message) Do you believe that? It is true!  Securing our identity in Him will set us free from the posturing that we put ourselves through as performers.

In His love and acceptance we find who we are, our true, God-created selves. We do not have to ‘look good.’ If we are living and loving our Father, we become good, led by the Spirit to know our gifts, to serve with His affirmation.  Some of the greatest tragedies of my life came from letting opinions and need for approval drive me.  When I allow the grip of critics to squeeze me into their expectations, I am unable to sing freely and love my King. I forget made by Him as I am and gifted by the Spirit to fit God’s plan. “Destruction is certain for those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot ever argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you are doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be!‘” (Isaiah 45:9, NLT)

Have you spent too many days trying too hard to win the applause of those who surround you?

You may succeed for a time and drink from the cup of praise, but all too soon someone will come along who can sing and dance in a way that wins the crowd.  However, God is always pleased when live as He planned.  It may sound like a cliché but it is true – Nobody can be you except you! What rest, what joy, what wholeness is found in when we learn to live in His purposes.  Evaluate your life prayerfully. Whose praise are you seeking?  Whose approval matters most — God’s or that of the people around you?

The word from the Word directs us to a life of utmost fulfillment:   “Be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.” That is why we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5 NLT)

_______________

Be Thou my Vision,
O Lord of my heart;
Nought be all else to me,
Save that Thou art
Thou my best thought,
By day or by night,
Waking or sleeping,
Thy presence my light.

 Riches I heed not,
Nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance,
Now and always:
Thou and Thou only,\
First in my heart,
High King of heaven,
My Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven,
My victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys,
O bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart,
Whatever befall,
Still be my Vision,
O Ruler of all.

1 Comment

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One response to “My Full Potential

  1. Corinne Pursell

    another excellent one, especially as our president is being praised for all he’s done for Christians

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