In her book, The Best Yes, Lysa TerKeurst writes about how we limit our abilities by tying our identity to our circumstances. I recently experienced this when I was asked to consider a bigger role in my church’s women’s ministry. While considering the expectations and their impact on my schedule, I found myself processing other thoughts like:
“I love Jesus, but I’m not as knowledgeable as some of the other ladies who were raised in the church.”
“I love Jesus, but sometimes I fail to keep a tight rein on my mouth.”
“I love Jesus, but I’m not sure I’m spiritually mature enough to lead these women.”
I worried that my pride might be motivating me to accept a position that I am unqualified for. And I have to be honest, on some level I also feared the commitment might expose those areas that I reserve from the Lord. As I prayerfully considered all this, I thought back to what Jesus identified as the most important command – the life goal I set earlier this year:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27
I considered whether accepting the position would honor this goal. Could I devote the required time without sacrificing important relationships and responsibilities? I’ve been blessed with spiritual growth when I’ve stepped out in faith to follow a path that only God could have orchestrated, and this is definitely one of those. And each time I’ve accepted an opportunity to team with others seeking a deeper relationship with God, it has deepened my faith.
I determined that saying yes would lead me closer to God. It was the right answer. But my fears and insecurities were nipping at my confidence. I had to spend some time processing and replacing them with truth. If God has called me, he will equip me. Lord, give me an undivided heart!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10
The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:23-24
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:10-14
Lysa’s book says a fixed mind-set feeds our insecurities while a growth mind-set overcomes them. “People with fixed mind-sets see their abilities, talents, skills, relationships, and intelligence as limited and lacking. Where they are today is where they will always be. Things can’t get better. It is what it is. People with growth mind-sets see their abilities, talents, skills, relationships, and intelligence with potential. Where they are today is a starting place, not a finish line. Things can get better. They can grow and develop and persevere.”
Remember the doubts I confessed to you – the knowledge that I love Jesus, I’m a child of God, but… I’m not as knowledgeable as some of the other ladies who were raised in the church… sometimes I fail to keep a tight rein on my mouth… I’m not sure I’m spiritually mature enough to lead of these women? Well a fixed mind-set stops there. On the other hand, a growth mind-set conquers those doubts with faith. As a child of God, trusting and leaning on him, all things are possible.
I imagine fixed mind-set vs. growth mind-set also helps determine to our ability to overcome life’s tragedies and traumas. I think it has to do with hope. Do we surrender to our circumstances or does hope kick in and move us forward, allowing us to overcome them?
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:30-31
I know I will stumble in my new position and embarrass myself now and then, but I am a child of God, I know he will put me back on track!