I was a scaredy-cat. You know, afraid to share my thoughts for fear they would sound stupid, afraid to step up and lead because of my feelings of inadequacy; afraid that I might offend someone; afraid to dream…I found it easier to follow behind someone who was louder, appeared confident, or had more degrees and letters after her name.
I found that a “gnawing voice of self-doubt can lead to paralyzing fear, the inability to move forward, poor quality work, and worst of all, perpetually playing small in the game of life” (Kim Avery).
However, I was transformed when I finally learned that we are uniquely called and equipped by God to confidently and boldly do good works.
“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life” (Gal 6:4-5, MSG).
I’ve spent this last year on two continents awed by the creative best from women who actively live this verse. Christian leaders are rarely the “beautiful people,” or titled, or eloquent. However, they frequently radiate with the greatness that flourishes in secret. Why? Because they “take responsibility for doing their creative best” for an audience of One.
These leaders realize that God created, called and equipped them to serve. It’s about God’s abilities, not theirs. They have learned to give lavishly, love deeply and live boldly, often in the background…silently…humbly, knowing that God knows. And that’s more than enough.
This year, I have spent time with a friend who just returned from pouring into the lives of missionary children and their parents in Mozambique; a woman who shares Jesus with prostitutes working on the street of the tenth most dangerous city in the world; women who serve refugees from Venezuela; women who serve as caring mothers in half-way houses for addicted men; church planters; small group Bible teachers; women who year after year continue serving, teaching, and modeling Christ in their local churches and communities; leaders who travel thousands of miles and donate as much money to minister to and encourage other ministry leaders.
Silently and humbly, yet with the power of the Holy Spirit within them, all of these women are the “boots on the ground,” powerful because they have made “a careful exploration of who they are, and the work they have been given.” As Bob Goff says, “that’s what love does.”
How about you? Do you know who you are in Christ and what work he has prepared for you? Lean into that, creatively sinking your life into the life he purposed for you to live (Ps. 138:3). Love big. God did not create you to be a scaredy-cat playing small in the game of life, but rather a fierce lion called and equipped wherever you are in the world. Sink into who you are, and the work God gave you. You might even find your new ROAR!
A Former Scaredy Cat