Marianne Williamson said “Your playing small does not serve the world”.
I would take that a step further and say that when we choose to intentionally play small, it does not serve the world, but it also doesn’t serve God or the mission He has given us. (Please note: this is entirely different than humility.)
I’ve been struggling through a bit of a weird season. I feel trapped between feeling this call to do something great (yet terrifying) and feeling like it’s easier and more comfortable to just stay put where I am.
I have learned through that sometimes when we put ourselves out there, we open up to all sorts of negative feedback. Sometimes this comes in the form of comments friends make when they are “just kidding”. Other times it may be that someone you know and love intentionally chooses not to support you or acknowledge what you’re trying to do. And still other times it may be that someone actually questions that you are supposed to be doing what you’re doing, or argues with what you are saying. Each of these can be painful if we view it through the wrong lens.
Can I tell you something, friends? If God has given you a passion and a calling to do something (or to share something), then the feedback that 99% of the world gives you shouldn’t matter. (I do believe in asking for counsel from those that you can fully trust and that will pray with you through decisions).
We are to prayerfully proclaim the message God has given us to share. Whether that be to the people that live in our home, those we work with, or to people around the world. You have been given a mission and a message. Yes, YOU.
A wise friend was talking with me a couple weeks ago about this same topic. She directly asked me “Have you been called to do this?”. When I answered “yes” she said, “then whatever issues that brings up for others you cannot be responsible for. Let the Holy Spirit bring about the fruit or change that needs to happen in their hearts. You can’t be responsible for how they respond, but you are accountable for speaking what you’ve been led to share”.
To be honest with you, sometimes I am afraid to declare out loud what God has whispered to me in the quiet. Sometimes it feels uncomfortable, too likely to make someone else respond defensively or judgmental. Many times, I’m uncomfortable speaking these truths out loud because I know the ugliness in my own heart- I KNOW the depths of my own mess and don’t ever want to pretend that I have it all together.
But friends, if we each stay silent with the message that we’ve been given to share, we miss out on much of the encouragement and hope that could be speaking to someone that desperately needs it.
Marianne Williams went on to say “We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light since, we unconsciously give other permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Matthew 5:14-16 makes this same point. Part of that passage says “Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand- SHINE! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God” (MSG)
And that’s what I hope to do.
I want to shine whatever light God has given me and encourage you to do the same.
I want to keep “open house” and generously pour out my life for others so that they may be prompted to do the same.
I am not a brilliant scholar, I’m not incredibly gifted in many areas, but by the grace of God, I WILL use every bit of what I’ve been given. This is my newly issued battle cry- I refuse to shrink into the shadows to avoid criticism.
The price is just too high.
This world needs light. This world needs hope.
This world needs YOU to prayerfully declare whatever message you’ve been given. And I’m praying that’s just what you are called and willing to do today.