And I mean that in the truest sense of the word. That is, I find myself in a constant posture of relenting, always knowing what I desire to do, even what God tells me to do, and yet not being courageous enough to pursue it fully.
It’s interesting because I’ve heard from time to time, people suggest I like “control.” I even had a lady call me a “control freak” a time or two, between snickers and giggling, of course. She was “joking,” (wink, wink). It’s always been weird for me to hear because, I often feel so captive to compromise. Sometimes in a good way, but most times because I’m simply picking battles and trying to keep the harmony. In fact, I tend to reject my better judgment to pacify the very mouths telling me I refuse to compromise. How’s that for irony?
If I’m honest, it’s quite frustrating.
It didn’t used to be like that. I used to trust my instincts much more.
But these days, my unwillingness to come across as “controlling” or “arrogant” ties my lips together in conversations where I should speak. I find myself agreeing, or going along with, things I should challenge. Ugh, it’s sickening to even type it. What happened to me, that I have become so sure of what I should do, and yet so unsure when it’s time to do it?
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with compromise, in the right place. Despite the constant negative connotation of the word in the Christian community, compromise is a tool used by Paul, even Jesus himself, to spread the good news of God’s grace (or love). In fact, the Christian must really be willing to compromise everything BUT the gospel in order to truly tell all nations about who God really is, and what he really desires from us.
My problem comes, frankly, in the inconsistencies of God’s speaking. I find myself frustrated at having to defend what God’s said to the very people I’d assume he speaks to every day. I often wonder how it is that we talk to the same God and hear very different things, or even slightly different things. Why is it that we don’t all come back from Mt. Sinai with the same things on our tablets? Why do we contend for the thoughts and ideas we know God has planted on our hearts, rather than sharing the joy of one unified message and method?
Lately, I haven’t even done much “contending,” but I have wondered, in the secret recesses of my quiet time with God, why He put in the position to have to contend at all.
I know what it is. It’s followed me all my life. The idea that I am “unqualified” for one reason or another. Either too young, too new, or without seminary education. I worry that my voice intimates uncertainty, weakness, or fear. Or that I will come across as negative or a kn0w-it-all. At the end of the day, I am held hostage to the perceptions people have of me.
This must change. It’s a trick of the devil, his flimsy puppeteer strings on my life and leadership. Pray with me that I find the courage to stand firm within the sure calling God has given me, and that I am willing to be as misunderstood as Jesus himself was in his ministry.
Funny. I thought I’d blog today, but I didn’t think I had much to say. Guess there is more to say than I realized. More to say, indeed.
What are your thoughts on the subject?