A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. — Matthew 12:35
What do you want? Such a simple question. Right?
For many of us knowing what we want and then voicing those wants is difficult. Why? Because often deferring to others, and being sure they get what they want, is easier. Less conflict.
I remember vividly on the way out to a family dinner, not too long ago, I was asked, “Where do you want to go?” and my response, “I don’t know. Where do you all want to go?” I caught myself. Did I really have no opinion? Or was I more interested in pleasing everyone?
Yesterday we talked about being honest about your feelings of unfulfillment, if you have them, and taking steps to resurrect your irrevocable gifts and talents that are lying dormant. It’s exciting to know they’re in there ready and waiting to be used again.
Today I want to dig a little deeper into the self-knowledge category. I believe it’s very important to know what motivates you and how to use that motivator to move you forward so that you feel a deep sense of accomplishment that flows from the inside out. It’s equally as important to learn to trust your inner guidance and detach from outward approval.
In Mark 6:14-29 we hear the story of John the Baptist’s beheading. Herodias’ daughter had a talent. Dancing. She used it during Herod’s birthday party and everyone was pleased. Herod, so much, that he said she could ask for anything up to the half of his kingdom and he would give it to her. Imagine that! The king willing to give you half of their kingdom.
What would you do? Take it. Or would you ask someone else what you should ask for?
Herodias’ daughter, wanting to please, went to her mother to see what she wanted her to do. Herodias was looking for revenge because John the Baptist had spoken against her for divorcing Herod’s brother and marrying Herod. This was her chance! So she suggests to her daughter to ask for the head of John on a platter. Resentfulness was in her heart.
Her response had nothing to do with her daughter and what was in her best interest. Wouldn’t it have been better to own half the kingdom with Herod? And anyhow, if you owned half the kingdom couldn’t you have just beheaded whoever you wanted later? Just a guess.
And Herod did not want to do it, because he felt John was a just and honorable man. But for the sake of the crowd he obliged. Even King Herod had the need to please others. His heart was more concerned with approval from men than approval from God.
Is your motivator pleasing people? This is a tough question. Most of us don’t want to admit that it could be true. We’re more independent and self-sufficient than that. Yet people pleasing is a trap that will prevent you from listening to the internal desires of your heart and aligning them with the highest and best God has for you. The Bible says to “Seek first the kingdom of God.” I believe that means, don’t seek first the opinions of others first. Slow down and listen.
If we’re going to use our God-given gifts and talents, we better know what will help us stay on the course. Some people are motivated by money, some by recognition and others by impact. Working in sales I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t more motivated by cash prizes and incentives. Then I discovered that I was not motivated by money I was more interested in helping others and making a difference in their lives.
What about you? Do you know what makes you tick and how you can use it to your advantage to maximize the gifts God has given you?
Here is a free way to find out a little more about yourself. Take a Color Code Personality test. I believe this will add one extra layer of confidence, commitment and clarity to your choice to walk back towards your gifts.
Also, I recommend incorporating meditation into your daily routine. I have found it to be immensely helpful in learning how to connect with the inner voice, which is God, and detach from the voices of others who want to push me in the way they see fit for their own purposes. An app I use regularly is called Insight Timer and can be found for iPhone or Android in the app store.
The saying, Know Thyself, is still true today. Know what moves you to action. It’s your responsibility, your right, to act out the gifts God has given you in this world. Then you’ll find a happiness, a flow, an ease, that you haven’t felt before. And God will be able to use you in an even bigger way than you thought possible.
Day 14 Lenten Love Prayer:
What marvelous gifts you have given me. That I may use them to my highest capability is my heart’s cry. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and yet sometimes I don’t understand myself all that well. Reveal to me the ways that I can best motivate myself and let me accept them as part of the gifts you have given me. I know one is not better than another and while some are motivated by money and others by impact, I am willing to dig and see what motivates me and then use that self-knowledge to make this world a better place. May I utilize what you have given me to the fullest. I will diligently search for ways to be more effective and take this information to heart. Thank you for making me so unique and help me to trust my intuition and the guidance of the Holy Spirit over the opinions and approvals of others. I am grateful that You approve of me just as I am. I will seek your thoughts on a matter first. And I know out of the good treasure of my heart I will bring forth good things. Onward and Upward. Together we will climb.
Day 14 Scripture:
For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
— Isaiah 55:8-9