Yesterday I spent my entire Saturday working on becoming the best me that I can be. I have always wanted to grow — become stronger, smarter, and healthier. My impetus, however, is not so that I can compete with others. It’s because of my need to serve. I can’t fully serve with the same knowledge and skills I acquired 10 years ago. In order to effectively serve others, I have to continually grow and refine my practices.
Part of the refining process started four years ago when I left the classroom. I didn’t really want to leave, but I knew it was time. I began discovering who I was — what was good and unique as well as what was bad and common. As I privately worked on those attributes that were less desirable, I prayed that God would also equip me with resources and human capital to smooth out my rough, sharp edges. That took honesty. Being honest with yourself about who you are isn’t as easy as being honest with your friends, spouse, or coworkers about who they are. If you’re truly honest about your self-assessment and want to change, you’ll be motivated to do the work necessary for improvement. Conversely, if you are honest with yourself and have accepted this quality as just being part of who you are, you’ll find that it will cause static among those closest to you. Until you decide to go toe to toe with your ugly parts, you will be going toe to toe with people in all the beautiful parts of your life.
As I entered the classroom at my mega church and surveyed the room, I chose a table toward the back of the room — something atypical for me. I typically sit in the front. Of all the people in the room, this was the only table filled with people who were laughing and chatting. My quick read of the room allowed me to find my happy place for the next seven hours. I promised that I would be on my best behavior — no talking when the teacher is talking, no loud yawning, and no criticism of teaching methods. Teachers are the worst students sometimes, and I can honestly assess myself and say that I’ve been a bad student. It’s not pretty, but it’s the truth.
The class began with lots of vocabulary, and I love words (a little too much at times).Then we took our first assessment to determine our spiritual gifts. This part was short. It helped me to see which gifts I definitely didn’t have, like hospitality and intercession. Although I want everyone to feel welcome, comfortable, and happy, I don’t want to be in charge of that. Others are better suited to make people feel warm and fuzzy. I will never be the first to offer my house as the place for family and friends to stay for the week. I will, however, pay for your hotel stay. Along the same lines, I’ll pray for you as the Spirit reminds me to or if you ask me to, but I won’t remember to do it over the course of many months and years. I’m just not wired that way.
I’ve beat myself up about this over the years — thinking that I should be more hospitable and a more devoted prayer warrior. Now that I know that it’s not necessarily selfish, I can cut myself some slack and focus on those spiritual gifts that I do have instead of trying to gift myself with things that aren’t meant to be mine. If this post resonates with you, please share it with others on your social media sites. As members of the body of Christ, we should all strive to make each member as healthy and strong as possible.
If you’d like to know what my spiritual gifts are, I’ll share them in my post on Tuesday. Make sure you stop by to check that out. I learned a few powerful revelations about my personality as well. In the meantime, scroll down to the comments and try to predict what my spiritual gifts are. Feel free to share yours with me as well. May blessings abound!
” I will never be the first to offer my house as the place for family and friends to stay for the week. I will, however, pay for your hotel stay. ” 😊 This line is so me. Haha I’d love to have people come to my house once or twice, but when I have perfectly cleaned the house. Haha
Hahaha…that’s me too. If it’s not perfectly clean, forget about it…lol.
This post touched me with a sharp point right where I’m living – right now. I had to return and re-read it again before moving on to part two. I’m glad I did. I used this post to approach my roommate about issues in the house. Resolved! Great work, Michelle. I can hardly wait to finish! <3 <3 <3 <3
Growth is so important in all parts of our lives, especially our faith. And to truly grow we have to first be truthful with ourselves.
I am so not the warm and fuzzy type either. I can create the environment for people to feel welcomed and comfortable, but I leave the warm and fuzzies up to my husband. 😉
Hahaha…I get it. We can’t all be warm and fuzzy.
Man so many parts of this resonated with me. What a great post. You sound a lot like me. I blog about my growth journey as well. Love it! ❤️
Thanks for much stopping by and taking time to comment. I’ll have to visit your blog as well. We could definitely learn from each other.
Hmm, I am wondering what my spiritual gifts would be. I’m really curious to see what yours are. Thanks for sharing this!
I absolutely love spiritual gifts assessments and use them in all my coaching. Its so important to know not only why you were creates but how to carry out that purpose. That all starts with spiritual gifts.
I love that you are focusing on your spiritual gifts! It is important to share your talents with others and not force talents that are not genuinely yours. I think when it’s forced, it just makes it harder to do and our heart it not completely in it. We can’t fully bless or minister to people if we are not using the talents God has blessed us with. Can’t wait to read your Tuesday post!
Thanks, sweet Sister! I do enjoy your posts from Detroit. Where are you from in Middle TN? I went to grad school in Nashville and taught in a town called Lebanon.
Thank you! I am glad you’re enjoying my Detroit posts. 🙂 I am originally from Clarksville, but I have lived in Nashville before. My husband was stationed at Ft. Campbell, too. I am familiar with Lebanon! 🙂 So good to connect with someone who knows Middle TN! I miss it a lot!
I dated a fella or two from Ft. Campbell. 😀 I, too, miss Middle TN…lots of great folks. See you around, Jennifer.
Hmm now you have me wondering about what are my spiritual gifts. I don’t offer my house for people to stay either. I also don’t like staying over by other people’s lol weird, I know.
I need to look in the inside and find my gifts. I need to do so much reflecting.
I feel like my spiritual gifts are being intuitive and picking up on peoples energy. Im pretty sensitive in that manner. Glad you are honest about your gifts and everyone cant have the same ones this is why goes disperses them how he sees fit!
Your post had so many pieces that related to me and my life. Through my blog, I am constantly learning what my true passions are. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.
I could not help but laugh when you mentioned the house guests!! I am not the hostess type either and I found that to be hilarious. At least you know for sure, hospitality is not for you!
LeShelle, I can’t tell you how often folks try to get me out of that by saying “You’re from LA. All y’all are hospitable.” Nope…not this chic. I will pay for your room though. 😀
“Until you decide to go toe to toe with your ugly parts, you will be going toe to toe with people in all the beautiful parts of your life.” So true
I know this firsthand, Jo. Thanks for stopping by. 😀