Maturation: Responsibility

Maturity is responsibility.

If no one will say, “I’m good at X” – who will teach?  Who will bring the skills up past the basic, on any level?  Must we all be eternal apprentices?

If no one will say, “I’m mature” – who will refrain from throwing a temper tantrum?  Who will guide?  Who will serve as an example?

When I say, “I’m a good seamstress” – I’m not saying I have nothing to learn.  But I am saying that I’m taking my craft seriously.  That means that I’m not free to be sloppy in my work.  Is that just in my own head?  Yes.  Yes it is.  So what?  The results of what goes on in my head are shown outwardly.

When I accept that I have something to offer, I can start saying, “Thank you” when someone compliments me and getting on with things, instead of spending five minutes blushing and shuffling my feet.  Which one of those things focuses more of the attention my way? 

When I say, “i don’t know enough” or “I’m not good enough”  – sometimes that stops me from doing work that needs to be done.  And there are no other hands.  Or the “expert hands” are overwhelmed with work because no one will step up.  

There is so much work to be done – in the church, in the world at large.  We – each one of us – influence many others.  But if we stay in the back forever, we can’t do that.  We put bushels on our own lamps.  We choose not to say the good word, because maybe we might get it wrong.  We choose not to do the good act, because maybe we might mess it up.  We forget that God made us, God put us where we are, God gave us the experiences and skills that we’ve gotten, and that God will work through us – all glory to God.

If everyone feels too useless to serve, how can anything get done?



11 thoughts on “Maturation: Responsibility

  1. magistratrium

    This is a great follow-up to your post from the other day. I am thinking hard about my response to compliments of the gifts God has given me and know that I am so often guilty of false humility in my response. You are right. If we deny the gifts the Lord has given us and refuse to take them seriously, how can we truly help those in need and pass them on to the next generation.

    1. hearthie Post author

      Yes! If I say, “I am only an egg” … then the person who is looking to find someone to model themselves after is left cold. Or if I shuffle my feet and say, “I’m not very good”. Well, what does the beginner have to aim at? I’m not a couturier … but I sew a good garment. I’m not the Best Wife in America, but my husband hasn’t done any complaining lately.

      We always have room to improve and grow. But we sometimes act like we have expert-itis – only the expert is “good enough”.

  2. Maeve

    This post was haunting me last night Hearthie (as many of your posts do). The more I rolled it over in my mind, the more I saw this tendency in this way:

    You make a lovely dress for your daughter as a birthday gift. You put thought and care and time into it because you love her and wish for her to have the best of your effort and you know she will treasure it. She loves this dress(gift), positively glows when wearing it; others notice it and comment on the loveliness of her dress (gift). In an effort to not look like a showoff or vain or whatever, she dismisses it (within your hearing) with a “this? oh, it’s nothing special. just something my mom whipped up.”

    That’s exactly what we do when we dismiss the gifts which He, out of love, has bestowed upon us because we’re afraid of appearing…what, exactly? He hears us every time we dismiss or denigrate or even try to downplay our gifts.

    So today I’m going to try and think of how many times a day I reveal my ingratitude by dismissing that which He has bestowed upon me. Fine example I provide of a grateful Christian!

    1. hearthie Post author

      Hm. To further your metaphor (and give myself something to think about)… one year my daughter whined about what I was making her and did indeed denigrate the gifts she was given.

      She didn’t get another thing off my sewing machine for a solid six months, maybe closer to a year.

      1. Maeve

        Well, to carry it a bit further, what about when we allow other people (uh, mere humans) to discourage us from developing or using our gift. What about when we listen to them tell us that it’s a waste? or Foolish? or Not worth the time spent on perfecting our gift?

        What about when we give greater credence to other people instead of Him and allow their influence to shackle the gifts He has given us? As though He didn’t know what He was doing when He deliberately bestowed them on us? But some mere mortal knows what really best for us.

        What about when we do it to others?

  3. Elspeth

    Good questions Maeve. And these posts have been encouraging and challenging me as well. I just so often can’t think of anything to add.

    Hearth does a very good job of covering the pertinent angles. Maybe she rather than I should be teaching a writing class, LOL.

    1. Maeve

      They’re challenging me, too, Elspeth, because I’m now wondering how many times I indicate to my daughters my “disdain” for those gifts He has given me. And I worry about setting a terrible example – that they will do this also. I worry that they won’t seek to fulfill the tremendous potential they’ve been gifted because I’ve shown them that it’s “nothing special”, “nothing to write home about”, you get the picture.

      And how many times did the H compliment me about something and I couldn’t show enough grace to beam with pleasure at his obvious satisfaction (the way my mother did when my father complimented her) and instead dismissed that satisfaction, and thus, him. Makes me very very sad. And ashamed.

      1. hearthie Post author

        There’s a difference in the things we’re gifted at. If we’re going to be honest – there are things that we’re really not good at. I have TERRIBLE reaction time, and I don’t do well in casual conversation. We need to be honest in all ways – so I can be a good seamstress and a lousy embroiderer (which is true) and a good planter of gardens and a lousy weeder (true). Some things can be improved on (I could work at weeding) and some can’t (my reaction time is really not going to get any better).

        Knowing strengths and weaknesses enables us to be more productive.

      2. Maeve

        Oh I agree you with you. And the funny part is that having weaknesses in certain areas allows us to turn to those with strengths for guidance and encouragement – letting others share their gifts with us. So even then, our weaknesses can be ways for Him to use us. Plus also help us keep from Swollen Head Syndrome (LOL)

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