Several years ago when I was still in Kansas City, in fact when I was in my internship there, a friend of mine had “let me have it”. She confronted me about a weak area in my personality and I was mortified that she had noticed some of my “issues”. For days I paced the empty aisles of the nightwatch prayer room like a woman on fire, pleading with Jesus to help me be more like Him. Jesus, you have to help me. Just get rid of this thing. Change me! Help! I wanted Jesus to make me like some of my fellow interns who were sweet and gentle all the time. You know, the ones who are quiet and don’t try to pick a fight with the cute guys in the internship. I wanted to not want to talk all the time and I definitely didn’t want to be loud and aggressive. Finally, the Lord had had enough and he spoke back to me, Brooke. I made you like this. I made you to be aggressive and communicative for a reason. I don’t want you to change who I’ve made you to be and I need you to trust me with the things that aren’t working. I gave you a sense of justice and a passion to make wrong things right. I made you an excellent communicator. I’ll fix the rest of it.
I confess that I am still, after all of these years, a work in progress. I put up walls of sarcasm and pride, get irritated easily and if I see some injustice happening, I consistently move ahead of God in resolving the issue instead of waiting for His timing and His heart in the matter. But I have come to learn that as frustrated as I become with myself sometimes, faith involves knowing and believing He is resolving those things in my heart that need to be healed and sanctified. I have come to the conclusion that He is the one that developed my personality and to covet someone elses personality would be an injustice in itself.
I think we can apply this to many areas of our lives. We can also covet a gifting that God has not actually given us. This is harmful for both the individual and the body of Christ. While someone is trying to operate in a gifting that the Lord has not given them, there is a deficit in another area of the body because they are using all of their energy trying to be someone they aren’t and not walking in the things the Lord has called them to do. A church wouldn’t hire a children’s pastor that feels awkward around kids. They wouldn’t let someone cook at church functions if they can’t boil water. When we fail to recognize we aren’t gifted in an area, we may end up being the one who serves cornbread that tastes like soap and making everyone in church gag (ask me about that story sometime).
The point is, don’t try to be someone you would like to be but just… aren’t. If several people have repeatedly told you that you are not gifted in what you are doing, first pray about it and ask Jesus if it is true. Listen honestly to the voice of the Holy Spirit and remain humble. It may be that there are areas you need to grow in before you are released in that area or maybe it’s something you would just really like to do and aren’t gifted at. That’s okay. It’s not the end of your life. The Lord has given you awesome gifts to serve the body, you just have to figure out what they are! This is an incredibly fun journey to have with the Lord. And whether you are shy and quiet or loud and obnoxious, remember that the Father created you with certain personality characteristics and you should own them! Yes, you may still need to work out a few weak spots but don’t walk in shame because you think you need to be someone else. He loves who you are!!