As believers we need to discover who we really are in Christ. And, I don’t just mean rhyming off a bible verse or two … “I am an ambassador of Christ,” “I am a minister of reconciliation,” I am a new creature in Christ” (see 2 Corinthians 5). It’s all head knowledge and simple information unless it has become a reality in your life. Changes your life. Makes you live big!
As we saw the last time (Blog: Don’t Fence Me In – Blog for March 13, 2020) we can live small when we are really meant to live big, powerful, expansive lives.
“We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!”
Let’s list how internal smallness affects you…
- It causes us to be self-conscious
- It cause us to be slow to compliment and encourage others
- It keeps us from responding to others – not expressing thoughts and feelings
- It cause us to be slow to celebrate the wins of others
- It causes us to be very poor conversationalists
- It means we will speak out of our insecurity and wound others
- It means we will be be very poor listeners as we talk too much to hide our insecurities and smallness
- It causes us to engage in petty and negative conversations where people complain, gossip, and criticize
- It causes us to be envious of other people’s success
- It causes us to shrink ourselves to stay as small a target as possible so the world won’t shoot us down
- It causes us to pass up opportunities to contribute – being careful not to put ourselves out there where we risk saying the wrong thing or having our ideas rejected by others
- It causes us to take things too personally
- It causes us to assume the worst in people or about people
- It cause us to put the focus on what we want to avoid – pain, confrontation, and embarrassment – instead of what we want to accomplish
- It causes us to let criticism lay us low rather than help us grow
- It causes us to be inhibited to love out loud – not free to say love, show love, or feel love
- It causes us to turn inward, shut down, and withdraw emotionally
- It causes us to make excuses rather than owning our choices, our moods, and our behaviour
I’m sure when you look at this list, at least some of these are habits that feel harmless right now in your own life. You are so intent on being comfortable in the moment that you are willing to overlook the consequences in the future. That is sad! That’s thinking small and living small. It is not living openly and expansively.
When you look around you for people who model bigness, it’s not always easy to differentiate between those who appear to be big on the inside and those who actually are. Being big on the inside is not the same as being popular, being wealthy, or having a big, outgoing personality. In fact, some of the most popular, wealthy, and big-personality people are small inside. Once you get past the outer layer of their positions and persona, you often see their internal struggle with smallness. You start to see glimpses of their struggle with insecurity. You start to hear about who bothers them, what worries them, what they dread most, what irritates them, and what triggers a bad mood or even a paranoia of some kind. They can be petty, have issues with other people, carry grudges from the past, and have a hard time celebrating the success of others.,
On the other hand, there are people who are just the opposite. When you first look at them, you see them as pretty average. They don’t have big personalities; they are not loud or the center of attention. The more you get to know them, the more you start to see glimpses of unusual confidence and courage. You start to realize how positive they are in their conversations. They think well of others. They believe the best about the future. They don’t take themselves too seriously. They are uncomplicated, have a genuine love for life, and are comfortable putting themselves out there as if they have nothing to lose.
So, who do you think you are? And, how do others see you? Something to ponder.