Living Into Me
My confidence has always been significantly impacted by the acceptance or lack of it I’ve received from others. Natural–I suppose, but I think it’s gone beyond what’s natural in my life for some reason. In junior high my happiness was determined by whether or not the popular crowd talked to me on a given day. In high school and college I made a hobby of over-analyzing my interaction with Michelle to see if I was still good enough for her or not. In seminary I felt like a failure when I wasn’t selected to be one of the students to preach in chapel. In ministry I have always been sheepish about leading confidently in case someone thinks my ideas are stupid. In short–I have been addicted to acceptance.
I know this isn’t all bad–I certainly wouldn’t want to be someone who went around doing whatever they wanted without any regard for how difficult and horrible of a person they were. At the same time, I have often hesitated to be comfortable in my own skin, to accept with joy the person God has made me to be and the gifts he’s given me (and the ones he hasn’t) because I didn’t know how others would view me then.
In the last month this has changed some. I have no explanation other than that I believe God graciously helps us to grow into the best versions of ourselves as we rely on him for that. It’s not that I think I’m great, well, actually in a way it is–but only in the sense that God has made all of us to be great in different ways. One of the things he’s really helped me with is to compare myself to others less (a work in progress, but still…). He’s helping me to be more concerned with becoming the person I can and should be than how “good” I am compared to someone else. He’s also helping me to be confident in following his leading, and leading others to do the same. It feels good. I imagine like most struggles in my life this one will be up and down, but getting a taste of living confidently in who he’s leading me to be instead of acquiescing to my tendency to find my worth in others’ acceptance is good.