1) Accepting what you’re good and bad at frees you from the prison of other people’s praise. If you know that you’re a good cook, “this is fabulous!” isn’t a revelation, it’s a compliment. You say thank you, you remember that Fran likes flan, and you get on with serving after-dinner coffee. No one has surprised you, life has not changed.
Therefore, you don’t spend all your time either showing off what you’ve done lately in hopes that enough other people will praise you to the heavens so that you feel just-okay about continuing or play argue with folks about the awesomeness of your work. Because you know, it’s other people’s job to not only compliment you, but beat you over the head until you accept those compliments! Right? Err. No.
2) Taking this and applying it to parenting. My kids have very different strengths and weaknesses. Night and day, really. But if I have observed them, I can say to my son – “You know, you’re really good at science, but you don’t seem to be a natural mathematician. Perhaps you should rethink that career in robotics?” My daughter wears glasses (and is a girl). Guess that dream of being a fighter pilot is something I should steer her away from…. (Neither of these examples is what my kids want to do, fwiw).
I can also encourage them to develop their strengths to the fullest extent possible. Self-knowledge is useful!
3) Magistra brought out the CS Lewis quote (http://magistratrium.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/false-humility/) about true humility not thinking about yourself, rather than not thinking well of yourself. When I’m less worried about “am I good enough” I’m more focused on the work at hand or the person I’m trying to bless.
Truly, I feel like I’ve been freed of chains. And, other than writing these blogs in my head and enjoying the sense of freedom… thinking about my situation rather less than usual. “How can I get on with it?”
How can YOU be freed up to get on with the work that God has given you to do?