April 19, 2021

Have You Tried?

 Devotion for the Week...

One of the littles I babysit has a new favourite phrase. I can't even tell you how many times a day he says, "But I can't!" when he wants to do something or especially when I've told him to do something. My standard response is, "You don't know if you can. You haven't even tried." And then I don't help him until he has at least put in a little effort to try to do whatever it is on his own (well, unless I know he actually can't do it himself or it needs to be done quickly). Sometimes he legitimately can't do it and I have to do it for him, other times he just needs a little assistance and other times he can do it completely on his own. No matter what the result, it's important that he actually tries to do the thing so he will eventually lose the "I can't" mindset.

His whines of "I can't" really stuck in my head lately and made me think about all the times we tell God we can't do the things He is asking us to do. I wonder how often he wants to roll His eyes at our unwillingness to even try new things. How often is He looking at me, listening to my assertions that I can't do _____, and wanting to say "You don't know if you can. You haven't even tried."

Paul wrote, "In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly" (Romans 12:6-8). This list is by no means exhaustive. God has also given people gifts of organization, or feeding people, or making people feel seen and valued, gifts of writing, gifts of event planning, gifts of creating and making, and gifts of growing abundant food. All of the things we are good at come from God and He wants us to use those gifts to serve others.

Many of us love doing the things we do well and we would love to serve others with those gifts. Maybe we even secretly dream about what life would be like if only we could do ____ all the time. Unfortunately, imposter syndrome has attached itself to our perception of our gifts. Imposter syndrome makes us feel like we can't serve others with our gift because we aren't good enough. It presents in a lot of different ways (like feeling that we're a fake and people would be disappointed if they knew the truth about us, or feeling like everyone else is better than we are, so why are we even thinking about doing this thing), but the overwhelming feeling is that we can't do it.

I fully believe God is saying to each of us, "Yes, you can! I gave you this gift. Just try."

You may discover you can do more than you thought you could | DevotedQuilter.com

Are there things you want to do, but you feel like you aren't good enough? If you have a chorus of "I can't" in your mind, I encourage you to try anyway. Maybe you'll need a little help along the way, but you may discover you can do more than you thought you could.

2 comments:

  1. Just wanted to let you know that even though I don't always post a comment, I really do like the devotions that you post. They are very thought-provoking and encouraging.

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  2. Wonderful lesson, Leanne. One of my favorite poems 'Can't' by Edgar Albert Guest, one of the lines memorized 40 years ago "robs us of courage we need through the day:
    It rings in our ears like a timely-sent warning
    And laughs when we falter and fall by the way. "
    When I was raising my littles, that word was a naughty word. I still remember hearing my 4-H group working the bovine barn, doing chores and one other non team member said the word and my kids gasped and said that word was not allowed. I was so proud! Thank you for today's lesson. Have a blessed week.

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