A Spirit Gentle and At Rest

I’ve been struggling with my personality this week. I tend to be quiet until I get comfortable with people, but this week I really wish I was one of those super outgoing people. I tend to better contribute to one-on-one and small group interactions, but this week I really wish I was more at home in a huge group. I tend to be very compassionate and emotional, but this week I wish I could be less feeling and logical.

This week, it doesn’t matter that being taking time getting to know people helps me build deep, strong, and long-lasting relationships with other people. This week, it doesn’t matter that the fewer people and ministries I have vying for my attention will receive better quality from me. This week, it doesn’t matter that there are people who are starving for compassion, for empathy.

It doesn’t matter how needed I am as I am created to be, because this week, I just don’t want to be her. People judge her for not being friendly enough, not putting herself out there enough. People judge her for not serving enough, for not getting far enough out of her comfort zone. People judge her for not taking sin seriously enough, mistake her for being gullible and easily mislead.

It doesn’t matter that they’re all wrong. Their judgments are just enough to make me feel unworthy because of who I am.

And I wonder, Who will ever accept me, for me? Who will ever value me?

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging your hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the unfading beauty of a gentle and non-striving spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. This is how holy women of old made themselves beautiful” (1 Peter 3:3-5a).

Although these verses are typically used for talking about modesty, I felt God speaking to my heart this morning through them about my personality. It was like He said, Lydia, be who I created you to be. That is what I value. And He told me I needed to start accepting myself.

I think as human beings we can get into this very prideful state of mind where we think everyone else needs to be like us in how we behave and even (dare I say it) where and how we minister. In Christ, yes, we are a body working to make Christ known, but God has given each of us unique gifts and burdens to accomplish His purposes in us. And that has tremendous value.

Maybe I’m not as outgoing as you. Maybe I’m more vulnerable than you would be in your worst nightmares. Maybe I’m not as busy as you are. Maybe I’m more sensitive and emotional in a day than you will be in your entire life. Maybe I’m not as assertive as you, as logical, as cut-and-dry in my thinking.

BUT as long as I am being who God created me to be, I am every bit as valuable as you.

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