Friday, September 30, 2011

Creative Energy - Being Spent In the Right Places?

We are such creative human beings.

We can come up with the most amazing ideas. We decorate rooms, hotels, and theme parks with flair and stunning beauty. We create electronic devices that no mind would have imagined 100 years ago. We solve complex problems. We stop diseases in their tracks.  We write moving stories and create emotional movies to go along with them.

Our brains – they are powerful. They are intricate.  They are full of ideas.

Sometimes I just wonder if we don’t put our energy into the wrong things.

We spend hours and hours organizing a drawer or closet – or playing a computer game. We get intricate creating a scrapbook of memory, placing stickers and cardstock just “so.” We painstakingly plan out a garden or embellishing the perfect dessert for company.

I don’t think any of those things are wrong. Some of them are good for our soul. To give us time to think, breathe, and renew. Some of them are gifts that God has given us to minister to others in His name.

What I wonder is – where do we put our time and energy? Is it in the “thing” or is it in the Lord? Where does our passion lie?

Just think what we could accomplish if we put our creative minds and hands to work for God? What if we spent our energy on His people instead of on hobbies and time-wasters? Better yet – what if we used our hobbies to better His people?

Sometimes I think we let certain joys in life grow to become idols. They become too big in our hearts. We put too much time and energy into them.  Those things may not be harmful in and of themselves – decorating is a beautiful thing. Traveling is lots of fun. Sports are great. But they grow into larger-than-life passions in our lives shadowing over anything  and everything else.

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.
1 Corinthians 6:11-13

We do live in a very diverse world. God gave us our creative minds for a reason. We have the right to enjoy where we live and the time we’ve been given….as long as we aren’t mastered by them. As long as we don’t put our energy into those “things” instead of the ONE who gave us those things to enjoy in the first place.

Sometimes it’s important for us to be able to step away from the very things we are putting all of our time into – whatever they are. The  harder it is to break away; the more important it becomes for us to realize we need to re-prioritize where that thing places in our life.

We are blessed people to have been gifted with such creativity, passion, dreams, and talents. We just need to take stock once in awhile in whether our energies are driven in the right place.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Stop Diminishing Your Value

I often do that. Diminish my value. I don’t really realize I’m doing it at the time. Someone will compliment me and I’ll wave it away. They’ll ask about my writing and I’ll minimize it.

Why do we do that?

I think it’s because we compare. We compare ourselves to someone who is better.  Someone who is more beautiful, more eloquent, more gifted than we are.

So, maybe they are. But does that mean we don’t have worth? Does that mean we are not also gifted? And who “weighs” giftedness anyways?

I was recently in a conversation with someone about my writing. I told them that I may not be the most gifted writer around, but that I still believed God had things and words in me that He could use.  What this person told me in return meant a lot to me and showed me how I was minimizing the gifts that God had given me. They said, “you are a great writer because you write from the heart. I would much rather read something that is genuine and comes from someone who is "in the trenches" raising a family than someone who has a PHd and all of it comes from a "clinical" perspective. Don't discount how valuable your skills are. All that matters is that we bring God glory in our work. You do that in an outstanding way.”

Wow. WOW! They not only encouraged and affirmed my gift of writing, they gently told me not to discount and diminish the skills that God had given me!

We are each unique and individual. For a reason. We each have something different to bring to the table. Just because one person can bring the main course doesn’t mean that the appetizer is any less delightful or memorable.

We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and instead work on flourishing what we’ve been given. God has gifted each one of us in different ways.  We can be thankful for what He has given us instead of wishing it were stronger, bigger, wider, or fancier. We cannot be all that He intended us to be if we only focus on what we don’t have and can’t give.

Let’s stop diminishing our value.

Stop discounting how valuable our skills are.

Stop minimizing who we are and what we can contribute.

We each are outstanding in our own way and we each have something valuable to give. Enjoy it. Love it. Embrace it.

For you ARE valued and you DO have value to give.