Be kinder to yourself.
And then let your kindness flood the world.
And then let your kindness flood the world.
A couple weeks back I deleted a Facebook group that I started as an empowerment forum for women. The objective of the group was to give daily reminders to the ladies in the group of their true worth and of God’s perfect work that He started in each of them. I wanted to connect, and I wanted everyone to feel connected to other women in a positive and uplifting way. I wanted to not only share positive quotes and encouraging messages, but I also wanted to share and converse about topics that were relevant to us! It was all very beautiful in my mind, and I felt that it was totally aligned to my blog and everything my brand stands for…
But I deleted it… I deleted it because it became about me and not about God. It became about the messenger and not the message. This wasn’t something that I noticed over the course of the two or so months that I was the group’s administrator. It became about me the moment I decided to delete it. I got all up in my feelings because the “likes” were few, and I don’t recall not one “share” or comment on a post. There was zero engagement. It was a frustrating thing from the get go, but I tried to be consistent regardless, in hopes that everyone (almost all of whom I had added to the group myself) would eventually appreciate my positivity and efforts to create a community where women could meet virtually and express themselves. It was such a selfless and necessary commodity that all women should appreciate… Well I’ll never know if they appreciated it or not--what I know is that I felt like I was talking to myself, and I don’t take being ignored too well. So after about two months I was over it. I thought: It’s fine if no one wants to engage with me, but I can’t stand to have this group exist to further embarrass myself online.
I know you heard the self-centeredness in all that! I was convicted about that decision the next day. During my quiet time with the Lord, He reminded me that none of this was about me. All the inspiration had come from Him; None of it was for me to get praise or recognition, or even to feel appreciated. I was grieved by my decision and I repented, but I wasn’t going to start the group over... Instead I felt led to understand when, how, and why my service to God had become something I did for me. Yikes! Saying/writing that out makes me cringe!
After weeks of feeling remorse and pondering the issue, God revealed to me the reason for my self-centeredness regarding this situation. I became proud of overcoming and suffering for His sake, instead of giving Him all glory for every blessing in my life. And instead of allowing my testimony to point others to God, I became sure that I had a lot of the answers to women’s problems and that it was my duty to share it with them.
This revelation came when I was studying the Bible in the book of 2 Corinthians.
'We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. '
2 Corinthians 4:7-9
Having the victory over depression for me requires focusing on my blessings in spite of whatever hurt I sustained in my life and regardless of any negative emotions that still arise from time to time. Knocked down, but not destroyed. BUT all glory to God! I know I’m not alone in this though. Your situation may have been different, however, the central idea I want to share through this post is that we must be careful not to become proud, or feel entitled because of the way God has blessed us. We are indeed positioned and called to encourage our brethren but they owe us nothing in return, and unsolicited advice or encouragement isn’t always received in a way that matches the intent. Instead, we should be consistent in giving all praises to God because we ourselves are fragile and could not have overcome by ourselves. So let them see the brokeness and the humility lest our pride overshadow the glory of God.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever unintentionally taken credit away from God? Have you ever felt entitled because of the things that you overcame?
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