Thursday, November 20, 2014

Inferiority, Envy, and Perseverance in What You Love

Hey there.

What do you love? Writing stories, cheering people up, getting a good grade in school, baking cookies, building furniture, making your hair look perfect, sewing costumes... everyone has something that they like to do, and that they're good at.

But guess what? We humans are imperfect beings, and one of our many natural downfalls is our tendency of comparison to others. That's where a major inhibitor of the enjoyment of our talents comes from. It's quite simple, and usually comes in these two forms:

Inferiority and Envy. These two are evil little things that nag your soul and make you feel ill.

I get that depressing, hurtful, grey feeling of inferiority as a slight weight that I can't quite explain, near the right side of my brain, just kind of hanging there... pulling me down lower and lower until I make it cease.

Envy, on the other hand, feels more like a bit of helium trapped in the top of my skull, pulling me up uncomfortably and making me feel as if I'm unnaturally looking downwards with irritation, pride, and disgust.

Needless to say, these feelings are not pleasant. Both are hurtful, though in different ways. Different personalities will be more susceptible to one or the other, but I think most people experience a bit of both when encountering someone who, you believe, is better at your skill than you are.

Now, let me tell this to you straight:

There's always going to be some one who is better than you - whether in abilities, looks, knowledge, or what-have-you, and there's also always going to be some one lesser than you. But do not forget this: neither of these are the qualifier of your skill.

Consider a little story...

A child steps up to a huge grand piano at a recital. Before sliding onto the piano bench, she takes a quick and bashful bow and stands on tip-toe to shuffle her sheet music onto the music stand. She then takes a few seconds to adjust herself on the bench, her tiny feet swinging in mid air above the floor. She begins to play her simple song. The mastering of this piece took her weeks and weeks of hard work, with countless hours of practice and lessons, all of which are culminating to this moment - her moment in the spotlight. She plays with all their heart, obviously enjoying every moment and taking innocent pride in her work. She plays the piece well, though it is not (to more skilled musicians) difficult, impressive, or showy. We, the audience, know we are not witnessing "Beethoven's 5th Symphony," but we still enjoy the music, smile at the sincerity in her skill, and clap loudly when she finishes.

The qualifier of your skill is not how good or bad you are compared to others.

The qualifier of your skill is how you do your skill. Your attitude, your commitment, your desire to accell at it - that is the only thing that matters.

Will the God who made the universe say to you, "You use the gift I gave you well, my child." Will you bring joy to His heart by how you use your skill? Will people who observe your gift be inspired to use their own gifts better?

Because, ultimately, who are you pleasing? Man? Hah. The best they can give you is 15 minutes of fame.

But on the other hand... what if your only aim was to please God?

8 comments:

  1. VERY good post. Thank you for sharing it.

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  2. Oh so wonderful. A great reminder for everyone! Thank you for this.

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  3. True words Beth, thanks for sharing. :)

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  4. Very good! So true. Thank you so much for sharing something straight from your heart.

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  5. I am speechless.....I needed this SO badly. Wow. Thank you so much.
    I have been very filled with both envy and feelings of inferiority lately. Especially in my writing my nanowrimo for this year. I have been constantly comparing my writing to everyone else's and its made me feel horrible.
    I needed this reminder so much you dont even know. God just spoke through you. thank you so so much<3

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  6. Also I am so sharing this on my blog facebook because it was amazing.

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  7. Wow! That was so amazing and just what I needed to hear. I expecially loved the story about the toddler; it really drove your point home. :)

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