Encouragement for Today - July 18, 2011
July 18, 2011
Do I Have Anything to Offer?
"Moses said to the LORD, 'Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.'" Exodus 4:10 (NIV 2011)
When a move took my family from one side of the country to the other, insecurity surprised me. Despite being a confident woman in most areas of my life, I suddenly felt out of place and questioned my abilities.
Don't get me wrong. The people were delightful and welcoming. It's just that I felt so different. It seemed all the women I met were smartly dressed and spoke with charming accents. I, on the other hand, wore casual clothes and spoke in what suddenly seemed like a boring monotone.
But that wasn't all. God placed me in a work situation with women who had impressive resumes and accomplishments compared to me. These women had also been working together for years. They knew their purpose and seemed self-assured. As a newcomer, my confidence was shaky as I compared my experience and talent to theirs.
Over time, the differences magnified as my friends achieved more success. My gifts and talents seemed insignificant. I wondered how or why God would use someone like me, a somewhat simple and straightforward woman, when there were so many beautiful and charming ones nearby.
Although my head spoke words of doubt, God was strengthening my heart with His truth. He was teaching me that His love for me and my potential weren't tied to performance. It didn't matter what my "resume" looked like, or what level of "success" I achieved.
He wanted me to accept His love...just as I was. This truth shouted freedom to an achievement-based woman like me.
It didn't happen overnight, but as I learned that my value was found in being a beloved daughter of God, I realized God had never compared me to anyone. He wasn't counting accomplishments or gauging my impact. He was simply interested in what I did with what He entrusted to me.
After years of disqualifying myself, I finally accepted that God created me unique for a reason. The way I think, my personality and talents are all tools to accomplish God's plan for me. What I saw as flaws, He saw as potential. And the more I invested in how God made me, the greater He was glorified, and the more impactful I was at work and in ministry.
The same is true for every woman. God's design of you is intentional. You aren't like your mother, sister or friend for a reason. Your life and ministry will never look like the manager you admire, the women's ministry director at your church, or the woman who lives next door.
And that's a good thing, because God doesn't want you to be like them. He wants you to be YOU.
The challenge today is to release the expectations you've placed on yourself and explore God's amazing plan for you. You'll discover what I did: Everyone has something to offer.
Dear Lord, thank You for placing potential within me. Forgive me for neglecting the gifts and talents You've given me, or for wishing I had someone else's abilities and experiences. Help me to embrace Your design of me, and to explore the incredible plan You have for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Visit Glynnis' blog where she shares more about how God took her on a journey to where she is now.
The Character of God: Understanding His Heart for Us by Brian T. Anderson & Glynnis Whitwer
Take some time this week to do a personal assessment of your unique talents and personality. List ways God made you unique.
Why are many women dissatisfied with how God made them? Dig deeper than the obvious answers.
Have I ever derived self-worth from an accomplishment or a responsibility and then lost the ability to continue that responsibility: Perhaps from a move, having children or losing health? What did God teach me because of that pain?
Exodus 4:11-12, "The LORD said to him, 'Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.'" (NIV 2011)
1 Corinthians 2:4-5, "My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power." (NIV 2011)
© 2011 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105