Drinking Soup with Forks

I oftentimes associate my self worth with what I bring to “the table.”

Whether the “table” is family, friends, jobs, or teams, it is hard for me to disassociate my performance with my identity or self worth.

If I am not good at something, it must be because I’m too stupid to learn it..

If I don’t contribute to this team in the same manner and to the same degree as my teammates, then I am a useless and expendable attachment to this team..

I’ve been thinking about this balance between being excellent at what one does while not basing one’s identity upon performance.

I’ve noticed that oftentimes I have this mentality that if I am not good at something, that it is alright for me to put 50% of my effort into it instead of 100%. This idea has robbed me of plenty of fantastic learning experiences. I think recently I’ve found myself in a place where I have the opportunity to change that train of thought by putting 100% of my effort into doing something that I am not good at.

Back to the title:

A fork is just not the optimal utensil to use to drink soup. However, sometimes we just don’t have a spoon handy and we attempt to use utensils not designed for the task at hand. It would be incredibly stupid to critique a spoonless person’s soup drinking skills with a fork when they had no access to a spoon. Yes, there are better ways to drink the soup without using the inefficient fork, however it’s all part of the discovery process for the person. Berating the person by referencing their stupidity will not aid the person’s learning process at all. Should the person cease to attempt to drink the soup because they lack a spoon? Certainly not. The only way they’ll find a way to accomplish this “soup-er” task is to experiment and change strategies.

Similarly, sometimes the talents and giftings we have are not optimal for the job or position that we are in at the moment. Yes, we should work hard and attempt to do our best at even the jobs that we are not good at, but we should not become discouraged when others flourish more or when the haters berate us and call us all kinds of names. We are on a journey to find out what it is that we are good at and how we can change the environments around us for the better using the personality, talents, and gifts that we have been given specifically.

This idea makes me think of this verse:

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.”

Psalms 139:14
But to make sure we don’t fall into the trap of half-assing something simply because we aren’t good at it:
Servants, obey your masters in all things according to the flesh, serving not only when they are watching, as the servants of men, but in singleness of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. For you serve the Lord Christ.”
Colossians 3: 22-24
Maybe not being naturally “good” at something is simply meant to point and push us towards that which we were designed to do.
Keep on being who you were designed to be and don’t let bosses, friends, family, or anybody else box you in!

 

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