Humble and Kind
I really like Tim McGraw. I especially love his song “Humble and Kind”. As I was reading my bible this morning I came across a passage that drew me back to the song. Philippians 2:3 “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others: Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” If you continue to read verse 4, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”So, me being me, I jumped on the internet to find the lyrics. Ironically, the song talks about taking time for family, general kindness, integrity and taking pride in accomplishments but not letting it go to your head. I have listened to country music my whole life, this song includes no lost animals, trucks or significant others. This song speaks to values many of us grew up with. Somehow hanging on to the “kind” part was far easier than the humility part. And thus begins the lesson.
Drive a.k.a. Ambition
I do not believe wanting to be successful is a sin. I do not believe planning and striving to accomplish tasks is a sin either. In fact, Deuteronomy 28 talks about our blessings if we are obedient. We pray that everything we put our hand to will be blessed. How can ambition be wrong? We have not visited Merriam-Webster in while, so I checked what it had to say about ambition. The definition is “an ardent desire for rank, fame, or power”. Reading that, I am a little less comfortable calling myself ambitious. I used to say it like a crowning glory but now it feels a little…well…icky.
A few weeks ago in my connect group I was prayed over. The word that came to Ms. Joi was “drive” she prayed over me to be led instead of driven. I have been praying for months for God to order my steps so this was a bit of a divine surprise in-it-of-itself. So why not look up “drive” too. I figure it will have some similar definitions to ambition.
So back to Merrium-Webster. As my eyes ingest the various definitions of drive I feel my heart sink. Is, THAT, what I am? Let me give you a few of the examples for the “drive” definition:
- “to carry on or through energetically (ok, so that is not so bad)
- to impart a forward motion to by physical force
- to repulse, remove, or cause to go by force, authority, or influence (that’s good used against the enemy)
- to exert inescapable or coercive pressure on force (ouch)
- to compel to undergo or suffer a change (as in situation or emotional state)
- to urge relentlessly to continuous exertion
- to press or force into an activity, course, or direction
- to project, inject, or impress incisively”
Here is what I notice, everything is forced. The one that took my breath away was “to exert inescapable or coercive pressure”. Why you ask? Aside from sounding like a mean, bully I realized I have been doing this to myself for years. Moreover, I have been trying to find and secure success without a clear motivation other than to do better, make more money to take care of my family, and show people I could do it.
On a side note, when you hear someone say “Drive” what is usually pictured. In movies it is usually followed by a high-speed, out of control pursuit. It is hurried and frantic. I don’t like the feeling of being out of control and I do not like frantic.
Reality Oft Sucks
It took two scriptures and a country song to finally make it all click in my head. I am not a hateful, self-centered person but my drive, my ambitions have caused me to miss much in this life just in the natural. When I look at it from the perspective of my faith…I have lost so much more. I have been praying, “God, order my steps. Let me hear your voice and KNOW it is you.” For the most part I felt like all I got was the sound of crickets in the background.
Did you ever hear the story about the farmer plowing his field that received a message from God? This is paraphrased but the farmer is plowing and praying to hear from God. He looks up in the sky and sees the word “Go P” in the clouds. He takes that as a sign to go preach. Things do not go well and he questions God about it. The answer comes back that, had he waited, the message was “Go Plow” not “Go Preach”. When I pray about what to do next in career, education and when everything else the only word I get clearly is “write”. Write the blog? Write my book? Write a letter? Let me tell you, that opens a door for all sorts of ideas to dance in your head. Should I quit my job and write full-time? I would LOVE to do that, but I have no way to pay my bills if I do. I feel a tug toward ministry…primarily toward women and teens. Does that mean I am going into full-time ministry? I simply do not know…yet.
I have said before I believe I am being prepared….for something. I am in a season of building my faith and learning to trust in God. I am expectantly waiting for all that has been declared and proclaimed to come to fruition. I fight daily with the mind-monsters, but it is getting easier. I know God has a plan. I know that if I am obedient I will be blessed. I believe overcoming “drive” is the key to my next break through. I still want to be successful, but on God’s terms not my own. After all, God’s word says we are the head and not the tail, the top and never the bottom.
I want to be successful in the Kingdom work I do. I want to be financial blessed so I can show others how faithful God has been to me through both testimony and my blessing them with the overflow. I don’t need to be rich. I don’t really want to be famous. I want to be righteous with a fierce faith that impacts others daily.
I also want to stay humble and kind.
My prayer for you is that those obstacles you do not even recognize come to light. We cannot take dominion over the things in our life we do not recognize. Pray for God to reveal these things to you so He can help you overcome. God Bless and Keep You!