MARCH 17, 2015
You Be You
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves …" Philippians 2:3 (NIV)
A few months ago, I had to have a semi-hard conversation with a friend. I say semi-hard because this friend and I have the kind of relationship where we can say what we need to say and move on. But still, it wasn’t fun.
She was struggling because someone had started a business similar to hers. And this other person had a good following, a respectable reputation and decent potential to have a thriving business.
And my friend admittedly felt threatened.
But she didn’t just feel threatened, she started acting threatened.
A sense of panic rushed over her as she verbally weighed all the possibilities of what could happen with this new business scenario. For several days I watched her wrestle through a roller coaster of jealous emotions.
Each time she would say something about this new business owner, I would take a deep breath as my stomach twisted and turned. I knew I needed to say something, but I didn’t want to hurt her already fragile spirit.
So one afternoon, while we were on the phone discussing this other business, I gently walked her through all the reasons why her business was awesome. I reassured her I was with her, but then, I said something really hard: "You gotta let her be her and you be you. You are both called and chosen to do this assignment. Not either-or. But this anxiety you feel … it has the potential to ruin you."
I don’t think it’s what she wanted me to say in that moment, but it’s what she needed me to say.
I know, because I needed someone to say it to me years ago when I walked through a similar situation. I let being threatened by someone else’s success ruin days and weeks of my life. And it took what seemed like forever to get over it.
Here’s the thing friends, I know what "she’s" doing looks really awesome. And "she" makes it look effortless. And maybe "she" can do it better. But "she" is also called, chosen and set apart by God for a purpose.
And so are you.
One thing I’ve come to understand about God is He’s got enough purpose and potential to go around. And His purpose isn’t a battlefield for competition; it’s a safe haven of calling.
The secret to doing something confidently (yet humbly) for God?
Be with Jesus.
Humility is the by-product of His presence flowing in our lives.
When we are in His presence, He gives us the confidence to believe we are created to do something great with our lives. His presence whispers assurance over our souls when we feel vulnerable.
And His presence gives us the ability to cheer on that girl next to us, no matter how threatened we feel.
I need our key verse today, Philippians 2:3, to help me remember how much value God places on being humble with the gifts and talents He’s given me. My gifts are not to make myself better than the girl next to me. And because of this verse, I’m reminded to value what she’s doing, even more than what I’m doing.
This is hard to do. It takes guts to release your insecurities to God and confidently be yourself while watching someone else live out your dream. But it’s more than possible. Great favor and blessing flows from being a cheerleader for God’s women.
My friend and I are both still working through this struggle each day. Neither one of us has perfected humble-confidence. But we are both trying our best to put our insecurities to the side each day and run fiercely towards the process of godly success.
God, thank You for creating me with unique gifts and talents. Help me embrace the place where I am with confidence and assurance. Forgive me when I look to the girl next to me with a spirit of competition and envy. I trust You have enough purpose and plans to go around. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 2:4, "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." (ESV)
Save the date! If you’re looking for a community to cheer you on as you study God’s Word, check out Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies (OBS) next selection, What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst. Registration opens next week, and the OBS begins April 13!
If you believe this is a needed message for the women in your church or community, maybe God is leading you to plan an event for them. Click here to invite Nicki Koziarz to speak at your event.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Do you think it’s hard for women to be confidently humble? Why or why not? We’d love to hear your opinion on this in the devotions comment section today.
Who needs your voice of cheer today? Send a note, a tweet or write on her Facebook wall and tell her how excited you are about what God is doing in her life. You’ll be amazed at what happens to your soul.
© 2015 by Nicki Koziarz. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 17 March 2015.