It’s possible, that the greatest most important thing you can do for your destiny today, is find out what you are not.
A lot of Christian churches provide space for people who are not good at (singing, public speaking, greeting, counseling, leading) to do just that (singing, public speaking, greeting, counseling, leading).
It’s a blessing and a curse.
The blessing part is when people discover things that they want to work on, because God has called them in that area. So they get stretched, they trust God to empower them, and beautiful supernatural things happen.
The curse is when they get stuck doing the thing they should have not done in the first place.
And then we all suffer. We endure boring sermons, off pitch worship and makes-it-even-worse counseling.
Now, we all have a calling to love people, share the good news, feed the hungry and worship in community. But the Apostle Paul (who had a clear vision of what God has called him to do) encouraged us to know that not all are apostles, or teachers or prophets, etc.
And he reminds us that, “God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as He chose.” (1 Corinthians 12:8)
I have been incredible blessed to have encountered a few of my sweet spots in life. Preaching and writing being two of them.
Now, I’m not even close to be being a perfect preacher or a great writer. Both trades demand an incredible amount of practice, feedback, encouragement and training.
But I find joy in both.
And more often than not, people express their enjoyment of my preaching and my writing (and send me emails with a million spelling mistakes that need correcting; and others reach out to help me with my theological mistakes.)
However, it took me a long time to settle on what I really wanted to be. And not just what I wanted to be, but what I was actually called to be.
I wanted to be a pastor since I was a brand new Christian. That was the title that seemed to be the one with most value and influence. But now I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that is not my first calling.
It’s not even in the top 10.
I really, really love people… but I have no grace to sit with them and listen to them ramble about their hearts and issues and questions for more than 20 minutes.
Trust me, I have tried hard!
But it’s just not me.
My wife on them other hand, oh what a gift. She listens, and observes, and engages and prays (like really prays.) (Like 30-something-minute-prayers… prays!)
And whenever we tried to do it together, it was painful. My eyes would open wide and I would be starting into her soul while trying to send her a non verbal message that screamed out loud: STOP PRAYING ALREADY! IT’S BEEN 3 MINUTES AND I’M STARVING!
Yes, she’s incredibly pastoral. It’s who she is. Doesn’t even have to try. Needs no titles to prove it. She just cares.
Like Jesus does.
Me? I’m more like Peter.
The point is that I tried for a long time to fit that specific mold. I booked counseling meetings and appointments with church members in distressed… and it made me miserable.
Which made them more miserable.
Which proved that I needed a way out of this misery.
But get me in a room with 14 inmates in a maximum security prison, and I will preach the most animated, most hilarious, most challenging and most Jesus filled sermon of my life (at least I’ll try).
And I will be on a spiritual high for a good 72 hours after that.
Honestly, I failed miserably as a pastor. In more ways that one (Read more here: My 20 Most Ultimate Leadership Fails).
But I’m so glad to God I did.
Because I am now aware that I’m a preacher, a communicator, a writer, a dreamer. Yet I only discover that when I failed as a worship leader, a counselor, a pastor, a university student, and a real estate agent.
Knowing who I was not… was probably the most powerful indicator to point who I was.
So what do YOU suck at?
Don’t be afraid of it.
Someone else in the body of Christ is incredible in that area. Encourage them in it. And focus your energies and attention on the things that make you come alive.
Self–awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from other individuals. It’s taking an honest look into who you are without labels of it being right or wrong / good or bad.
People that are not self-aware make excuses and get defensive. They shift blame and are passive aggressive. Sometimes they speak about themselves in a manner that is embarrassing to those who are listening (because it feels so detached from reality).
So in order to be awaken from the deceit, we need humility and community.
I encourage you today to ask others what they (honestly and brutally) think about your ________________ (singing, public speaking, counseling, leadership).
Listen to understand not to defend; and keep an open mind. Be willing to die to selfish dreams and visions of grandeur. At the same time, receive feedback in the areas where you are actually meant to grow and flourish.
And learn to live in the glory of Romans 12:3:
Everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.