Saturday, April 19, 2014

Feeling Unworthy vs. Feeling Proud

Many times I have shared in this medium how I felt unworthy of the many gifts I receive from God, and feeling particularly unworthy and lacking in my job performance.

Take for instance this post, where I probably felt at my lowest in terms of my job performance. I felt like I've grown a lot since that experience.

I have a new job as a Immigrant Rights Organizer, and I really love it! Yes, the hours and pay and benefits are great, but it is more the fact that I'm doing things I hope make a difference in my community.

I love this job for the same reasons I love working as a missionary: bring people who have been neglected and forgotten some hope.

With this new job change I am confronted with a cocktail of feelings: feelings of unworthiness vs. feelings of pride.

Let me explain. I can feel proud as I sit in my office and say to myself "look at me with my desk and everything!" and then I can feel unworthy as I remind myself that this job is a gift from God and something I don't deserve.

I was always struck by the ebb and flow of these opposite emotions; a sense of entitlement and a sense of unworthiness.

Caught in this false dichotomy, as I believe many of us are, I realized those opposites are ultimately unhealthy.

I believe God doesn't want me to fill myself with pompous pride and look down on my ex-coworkers at the gas station and tell myself I'm somehow more worthy than them. And I believe God doesn't want me to feel so unworthy as to regard myself as garbage deficient of any good gifts.

There has to be a third way out of these two horns and it has to come not from pride or unworthiness but from a place of humility.

One morning, as I was seating in a boring meeting at my job (I hope my supervisor is not reading this!) I felt God nudging at my heart and saying : If I gave you this job is not because you are worthy of it or unworthy of it, but because I know you can handle it.

The words you can handle it really impacted me at that moment. I took my notepad and wrote down "It is not about deserving a gift or not, but that you can handle it".

This I believe, is the third way. In saying that God give us things when we can handle them we are affirming that every good thing is a gift from God.

We are also avoiding the pointy two horns of pride and unworthiness, as we recognize the reality that God's grace and gifts are not a matter of deserving them or not, but simply a free gift of love, a gift God gives when He knows we can handle it.

It gives me a healthy sense of confidence, as I feel God trusting me with a gift that I know I can handle receiving. It gives me the confidence to resist the darts of the enemy that tells me "you are not worthy of this", and without relying on my own pride.

Be happy and celebrate the gifts God gives us, and rest in the knowledge that if He gave you that gift, it is because He believes you can handle it.

Friday, April 11, 2014

2014 New Year's Resolution March Update!

It's been a while since I came and visited you at this site. I really been doing some reflections on how I can improve my consistency, and as a result, my integrity.

I have been thinking a lot about integrity, and how important a character trait that is. I will expand on this topic on another post!

March has been a rainy month! This is great since we surely need the rain in California. We are in the middle of a drought, and any drop we get from heaven at this point helps.

So, getting back to my resolutions. How has it been? So-so to be honest.

I'm getting tired of my inconsistency. And I'm getting tired of being tired of my inconsistency. I know I need to move beyond this stage and take some action. I always feel immobilized and unsure in how to move beyond this stage.

To be honest I don't know how to move beyond the "inconsistency stage". I want to, and I'm confident that I will, but at this point in time I don't know what steps are good for me to take.

Resolution #1 Calorie Count Everyday.
This I have done somewhat consistently, and to a certain extent, successfully. I know for certain that I am eating less calories. I've been trying to eat no more than 2000 calories everyday for Lent and it has been really difficult!

These past couple of weeks have been especially difficult! There has been many days where I have gone over the 2,000 calorie mark very easily!

I feel the pressure to continue doing this more consistently as Lent comes to a close!

Resolution #2 Spend 30 Minutes a Day Cleaning my Room.
I'm happy to report I have made some improvements in this area! I have decided to change my strategy slightly. Instead of spending 30 minutes I'm spending a few minutes everyday to clean my room.

This works so much better with me!

I honestly don't like cleaning, so the less time I spend cleaning, the less frustrated I feel. And I find that dividing my time into manageable bits and pieces really helps me and motivates me to keep cleaning.

I've said this before in this blog. What is the major problem with this? Consistency...

Resolution #3 Update my Blog Twice a Week.
Um...okay, wait until I finish eating this hearty crow.

As you can clearly see, I haven't updated this blog in 3 weeks! Goodness gracious!

I really feel God is putting writing more and more in my heart and I truly desire to write more. My expectations are for things to get better for April!