“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that frightens us. Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.”
               -Nelson Mandela, inaugural address, written by Marianne Williamson

Do folks always seem to underestimate you? Hardly ever give you credit for your ideas, hard work, or abilities? Just straight up take you for granted? Are you at the point where you are almost too scared to take up space in your own world?

The highlighted sentences in the above quote embody exactly what I do, have done, and continue to do. Let me share it with you. 

First of all, this quote always gives me goose pimples. However, on top of that, as I read it and got to those two lines, a part of my mind stood up and took notice. That’s it, it said, That . . . right there! That’s you! It was speaking the truth. 

As a former shy person, I go out of my way to appear harmless or nonthreatening to men and women alike. I am always the peacemaker, the one who gives in first, the one willing to consider that my thought process might be fallacious. None of this is bad in and of itself; however, Mandela’s quote pushes me to view my behavior from another angle. 

In my attempt to peacefully coexist with those around me or put them at ease, I have willingly, continuously, steadfastly, indubitably chosen to portray myself as

less than God created me to be,
and more of what those around me want to see.
I become in reality a caricature of who I truly be.

If I follow that train of thought to its natural conclusion, I might aver that maybe, just maybe, the solution to those particular problems is 

to be who I am . . .
who God created me to be!

After all, anything else is unfair to myself and to others: to myself in that there can be no real growth without honesty, and to others in that they are forced to work with half the information needed to assimilate who I am and how I should be treated. 

In that light, my actions might even be considered a trifle manipulative.

On the spiritual side, by not being all God has created me to be all day, every day, I ascribe His blessings, gifts, and endowments to my own ability, as things I’ve attained on my own. Not only that, but in downplaying them, I downplay Him and abdicate my primary purpose here on this earth–lifting Him up so as to draw all men unto Him. Whoa . . . scary repentance-inducing thought! 

Abba, Father. With repentant heart and joyful soul, I acknowledge and rejoice in the fact that there is none like You. Forgive me, Lord, for my fear, arrogance, pride, laziness, disinterest, self-preservation, and so much more. Thank You so much for this reminder that I am a child of the King and that I am expected to act in accordance with that fact. Not with arrogance, but with certainty. Certainty of who and whose I am. Unafraid to make waves, when necessary, for Your name’s sake. Accepting and utilizing the blessings You’ve bestowed upon me with wisdom and grace, yet unhampered by pride of my successes. I give You all the honor and the glory; in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. 

Sooo . . .how does the above quote speak to the truth in your life?

(Originally written 6/10/2008, edited 5/27/2010)