We are to be SEEN. We are to be REAL. We are to be RELEVANT. These are three keys to release.
It is with great sadness that I see people hiding who they are and believing that is being humble. Sadness, because I have been there and thank God I found out that it is a prison – of our own making – that prevents others from receiving the testimony of Freedom that is in us, that Christ died to reveal. Their wings are clipped.
We are made to be a multi-dimensional, brightly coloured, tapestry that – though at times threads can be wayward in their uniqueness and need encouraging skills in the leadership to bring them back into the ‘whole’ – allows our strengths and talents to be woven into one another to make something beautiful.
Throwing bleach all over the tapestry and ironing it flat might well mean that there is uniformity of dimension and colour. Yet it has drained the tapestry of its unique life.
This key, ‘SEEN’, is a culture where each individual may be seen and valued. They are a part of the tapestry and however difficult it might be to deal with the blossoming gifts and talents that emerge when they are put on display, our call as equippers is to help them to be released from a sense that they need to hide and avoid causing trouble. There are many of us who were raised in homes that prevented discussion, free opinion or expression, and where others may have been jealous of what they saw in us. Like Joseph, some may not have known how to deal with what has been given them. Create a culture where all can learn from their mistakes and failure is ok.
Like Jesus, encourage the ‘Peters’ to walk on the water. ‘Peters’ – get out of the boat and start walking!
False humility is prevalent and like a yeast that affects the dough of the Church. It was incredibly freeing for me when I first encountered people who genuinely spoke good things about who I am, and about who they were, and believed them. They were people who also believe God is good all the time, and able to do what He promises. They expected me, too, to tell them who I am, to express confidence in myself and in my gifts, in the good things about me. These are cultures where working together with others who have varied gifts is normal. There is no competition, nor is there hierarchy. There is good leadership that encourages. Living in an atmosphere where we are all hiding our light and thinking that is humility is gradual death, and it breeds jealousy and confusion. We begin to lose sight of who we really are.
Humility is a recognition of who we are with, and without, God. It is a deep self-awareness that knows and understands both our strengths and our weaknesses. Humility keeps silent when it needs to, it speaks when necessary – look at Jesus in two examples during his trials. He was fully aware of Himself and His call, and He remains so. Obviously though we cannot be perfect like Him, we are told to follow His example.
In Mark 14.60-62, Jesus is before the high priest, who asks Jesus: ‘Are you not going to answer?’ Jesus remained silent and gave no answer to the false witnesses. Next, the high priest asks Him directly: ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ Jesus answers confidently: ‘I am’. In Mark 15.2-5, Pilate asks Jesus directly: ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ to which Jesus replies confidently, ‘Yes, it is as you say’. The chief priests began accusing Him. Pilate asks Him, ‘Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.’ But Jesus made no reply.
Peter makes a huge mistake when he denies Jesus three times. Yet when given the opportunity to turn and learn from his mistake, he takes it. Judas did not. Judas couldn’t stand being known for having made such a mistake and he chose death rather than admitting it. Hiddenness and performance culture, along with false humility breeds things in the dark that emerge to crush us. But Jesus is bigger than all that!
Be real. Don’t be afraid to admit when you ‘get it wrong’. Then go and be outspoken about who you are and whose you are.
God made each of us to fit our ‘time’ well. For each of us, the call in Esther 4:14 is true, whatever age in which we live: ‘And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?’ (NIVUK). It is obvious to me that this comes with the possibility of disagreement or rejection by others. However the results of Esther’s obedience saved a whole people group, and that of Jesus saved us. As we are each in ‘royal position’ as God’s sons and daughters, and we are those to whom Jesus was speaking when He said we need to lose our life to gain it, and our light is to be set on a hill not hidden under a bowl, it’s time to recognise the time and be relevant! That means, being fully ourselves and fulfilling, speaking out and teaching what God has called us to be and do.
Let’s set our hearts to discovering the truth about ourselves and about the God who is our Father.
In my book, The Posture Principle, I speak about our positioning to receive all that is good from God. I seek to answer the question, ‘Can these bones live’ – and equip us with keys and principles to help us on that journey to living our calling.
You can purchase this book on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com, in both book and kindle format; also at my own website: http://www.nantenterprises.com/grace-creativity where you can use PayPal. Zaccmedia, my publisher, also sells the book and it can be found at our local Christian bookshop in Marlborough, UK: The Mustard Seed.
On 17th April I am giving a talk in The Mustard Seed, Marlborough, UK, on this subject, as a part of my author’s evening.