Until I went to Africa, I didn’t really think I was any good at drama. Hate being up on stage and acting. When I was younger, I liked it, but now (although I can put on a charisma when I’m working with kids on and off stage, and when I’m public speaking) give me lines and put other people, also replenished with a script, on stage, and I sound corny, staged, and I feel completely out of my depths.
While in Uganda, however, I helped the homeschool co-op out with drama. I know skills from all the times I have given the stage a go (I’ve been practically everyone but Joseph in all the Christmas plays we’ve ever put on!), from when I’ve practiced public speaking, and from what my wonderful and dramatically-inclined sister Nomi has talked about from her drama group, so I put my hand up to give some ideas and impart some skills.
And apparently, all the Mums thought I was brilliant and sooo…
And that left me going, umm… guys?
Where did THAT come from?!
Despite what they say, I still don’t like acting – or feel like I’m good at it – and it hasn’t inspired me to do anything whatsoever to do with pursuing drama. However, it did show me that hey, maybe I am not as terrible at things as I often think I am. I have this tendency to be down on myself, thinking myself inadequate or inferior to others. But regardless of what I feel, I’m learning to trust God when he says that I am wonderfully and lovingly made. I was made with love, personally knit together in the womb, and am covered with his fingerprints. He is the potter, fashioning me to be more like him. I was made in his image, and my name is emblazoned on the palm of his hand. Jesus made me worthy of his love.
I don’t mean to twist the Bible into a self-confidence booster. We are, until we meet Christ, a sinner, and even now will fall back into sin. But why should I call myself horrible, second-rate, or bound to fail at new challenges? This is something I have been thinking and praying about for a few months – the lie of inferiority. God says, I am created and saved by God (Genesis 1:27, Titus 3:5) and in Him I have everything I need (2 Corinthians 12:9, Psalm 19). My identity is wrapped up in Jesus (Ephesians 1). I am free to be the person I was purposefully made to be (no condemnation, separation from God, or worthlessness to hold me down; Romans 8:1, Ephesians 2:13, Ephesians 2:10). God doesn’t play favourites (Romans 2:11), nor am I a mistake (Isaiah 45:9). I am equal to the rest of the world according to God, given talents and abilities (Matthew 25:14-30), and a functioning body and brain that can grow and develop. It’s okay to admit that I am good at things, and it is okay to give something a go and keep on practicing at it (Colossians 3:23, Matthew 25:14-30).
What things are you good at? What things am I good at? I know I have a good memory; I’m creative and organised. I have some musical talent, can write, speak in front of people, and pick up technology easily (then again, what gen y kid can’t! haha). I am a people person and can relate to kids well. I also get perspective and shadow all wrong in art, and my limbs are sometimes discombobulated when playing sport; like I’ve said, I don’t enjoy acting on stage, and let’s not even go into math or science!
But because I’m curious about those things I find hard, because I value them, or because I think there is some sort of talent in me hidden away, I’m not going to let the challenges stop me from trying, and I’m going to keep growing in the things I am good at. I don’t want to berate myself or assume that I can’t ever do it, and not bother trying because other people I know are better at those things than me. The point in trying is not to become the best person in the world at something, or find definition in being good at something – because there will always be someone better than me at something; the point is to not be intimidated by other people, or by lies the world throws at me, and instead, trust God and live fully and freely. Ultimately, the voice of comparison, the taunt of defeat, and the whisper of fear, are lies that need refuting, and we need to instead live in the truth of God’s love, a truth that sets us free.
So please know, it’s okay to give things a go. It’s okay to not be amazing at it, too! It’s okay to acknowledge and grow in what you are good at. You are not inferior to the rest of the world. We’re masterpieces in the making!
For we are his masterpiece, created for good works in Christ, which God has prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them! – Ephesians 2:10