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CONFESSION: I’m Not Who People Say That I Am

Recently I was at a dinner party with my wife and another couple. We were talking about work, business, or something, and I started to mention how much I enjoy being an entrepreneur. Specifically, I enjoy the fact that, as a marketing consultant, I get to work with many different types of businesses and causes. Then I shared specifically how I love the idea of taking my skills and applying them to industries or companies that align with my interests and hobbies.

Immediately they acknowledged how they could see how my passion for running would bring great enjoyment if I were to be involved in marketing a marathon or some other sporting event.

For some reason, something in me reacted negatively and I wanted to argue how marathons or running weren’t necessarily my passion, but just a hobby. Of course, it’s just semantics, whether you call it a “passion” or “hobby.” The problem that occurred was marathons and running are not my biggest passions, however I do talk about them a lot. I would like to say that my biggest passions are Jesus, my family, my calling and helping other people grow in Him. However, that’s not something I talk about much.

Running marathons and learning to eat, stretch and train for optimal performance is something I talk about often when one on one. It’s easy to bring up, and almost everyone can jump into the conversation. And to be honest, it does give me a little boost of self-esteem because it’s impressive to most people.

So I don’t really have to ask myself why do I do it. It’s quite clear. My self-esteem is largely aligned with accomplishments. I feel good about myself based on what I have done. And so when I’m feeling proud about something work-related, I share about that. When I feel proud about my marathon training or completions, I talk about that.

But with God, I have many unmet goals.

I want God to be glorified by my life, across every area. If I don’t see or feel there’s something tangible to mention, He remains on the backburner.

This is, of course, aligned or maybe misaligned with my post about excellence and being a Christian witness. I seem to be waiting to do something I deem excellent before I fully bring up God’s involvement.

There is a disconnect between priorities of the head and those of the heart. We can have a conscious belief of how things should be and, yet feel in our heart or subconscious mind, we’re not worthy or ready. And so the easiest thing to do is reach in and grab the shiniest apple or prettiest outfit and display that.

And then, there’s our audience and whether we feel comfortable. If my marriage is one of my prized values, but I’m talking with someone who’s divorced or doesn’t believe in marriage, I guess it’s “wisdom” to keep that in.

Hmm… I don’t know.

I guess, what I’m really getting at is, do the people we spend time with really know us? In the words of Jesus, “Who do men say that I am?”

Sometimes I think we can be so caught up in trying to fit in, showcase our impressive knowledge, that we never bring out our true selves and passions.

It’s like the common question among men, “What do you do?” For nine of 10 men, this would lead to a conversation about their jobs, which is not what they most love or care about. Even if they spend 60-80 hours with their work, most likely the drive is fear or pride. Who they truly are and care about is never really shared.

If there’s a big difference between who people say you are, and what you’re really about, you may need to do some searching. Is there fear or shame causing you to hide? Are there self-esteem issues or personal disappointments that make you refuse to share your true passions?

Maybe we really don’t know. Maybe we are simply going through the motions but have never cross-examined ourselves.

To be honest, I have no idea where I’m going with this, but I think it’s something to consider.

I don’t have a solution. But I do want it to be known what I’m really about.

Yes, I’m a guy with a multitude of interests, projects, commitments, and goals. I’m not single-minded, but hopefully I’ve cultivated the life, anointing, and grace of God in all of my many areas and relationships. That’s my hope.

And when something comes up and I feel in my spirit that I’m not as focused as I want to be, I hope I change. When conviction hits and I realize I’m only glorifying discipline but not God, I hope that I change. I actually want to be intensely unbalanced with a devotion to my wife and children that stirs other men to rethink their priorities. I want to have a natural and passionate way of bringing God into places and conversations that provokes believers and blesses unbelievers.

Perhaps all I can do for now, is write.

Right here on my blog, I will start being who I want to be.

Then maybe, the next time I talk with someone, they’ll mention this blog post and we’ll converse about the things that really matter.

Perhaps.

 

Create a Great Day!

@ArvellCraig