How many times have you not done something because it just wasn’t you? I’m guilty of this frequently (although after recent realizations that hopefully will not be the case). I put myself in a box all the time. The devil likes to keep us in a box all the time by disguising them as acceptable labels in society. Like whenever I say “Oh, I’m just not a people person or I was never a science person.” As long as we think like this, we won’t realize that we are actually just sitting inside of our comfort zones and not living up to our full potential.
Any time we say we just aren’t THAT kind of person, we place ourselves in a box. Either because we think we can’t do it or because we are afraid to. Society says this is ok. Be yourself, don’t challenge yourself because it’s not your fault you just aren’t THAT kind of person.
The truth is, I have believed this my whole life until recently. These “boxes” are conveniently described as acceptable and normal aka comfort zones. Think about it. When was the last time you did something challenging for you? No, something really challenging. Something you didn’t really want to do but you did anyway because you knew you should. Let me give you an example of something I did this week.
I’ve always used the excuse I’m just shy to avoid social situations and talking to people I don’t know (and yes I know that sounds bad coming from a Communication Arts major). Well, this week, after Bible study, there was going to be a small group of people getting together after for a potluck dinner. I never do well meeting new people…especially if I don’t even know anyone there which was the case here. I made Jello to take (strawberry to be exact) and still wasn’t sure when I left if I would stay or not.
After the Bible study, I decided to stay because I knew it was time for me to stop making excuses. I got to know several of the people there, learned a new version of spoons (same concept, no spoons, but you have partners), found 3 people who play tennis, and actually started a few conversations myself. It was definitely hard for me to just decide to go and not place myself inside the “I’m not a people person” box because it’s no fun to be alone in a box.
This morning I was reading 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which says: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
So basically the Scriptures are good for everything but what caught my attention is that it helps you train in righteousness so that “ALL God’s people (that’s you and me) may be thoroughly equipped for EVERY good work.”
Now, it doesn’t say equips you for some good works and me for others. It equips everyone for every good work. If we place these labels on ourselves, how can we do every good work. I mean, God made me to share the gospel. So if I place myself in the “I’m not a people person” box then how am I going to share with those I don’t know? It says I can be thoroughly equipped. Not partially. Thoroughly.
So just start being aware of when you label yourself. I do it all the time and never thought twice about it but now I catch myself doing it all the time. Never choose to not act simply because you think you aren’t made for that. You are. God made you for every good work and has thoroughly equipped you.
Do one hard thing today. Challenge yourself. Don’t use labels as an excuse instead, pursue a life with no excuses so that you can live up to God’s expectations. After all, would you rather reach the potential God has for you or the potential society offers?
It’ll be harder but I’m thinking I’ll stick with God and stop making excuses.