Yabang na hindi halata!

I remember telling my friend the other day that of all the jobs I've had, this one in the ministry was the one that made me doubt my ability to excel.

In my previous jobs in the corporate world, I knew that I can do it. I am just THAT confident. That silent confidence may be a good thing, that self-assuring pat on the back is not necessarily a bad trait (self assurance is even one of the themes in Rath's book, Strengths Finder) but I realized that there was also this sinful seed growing in my heart every time I receive recognition at work... It was the kind of pride that doesn't parade itself, but grows silently and could be more dangerous because only a few could see it.

But months into the ministry... having made wrong decisions, overlooked details and experienced moments wherein you tell yourself "dapat-kasi-ganito-ginawa-mo" and "bakit hindi mo naisip yun" snowballed into this girl that feels insecure and incompetent in a sea of excellent people.

I guess it was the pride that I have unknowingly been nursing all these years that finally got the spanking it deserved.

It's a good thing though that God is in the business of exposing darkness into light so He can let His face shine upon us and correct these bitter roots growing in us.

I notice this pride when I would immediately put up walls and be defensive when I receive not-so-good feedback in the ministry. I would also flinch and be nervous to ask others how I am faring so far...  While others would automatically seek for input and observation for what they have done, I would be there dancing back and forth, gathering the courage to ask... So heart check: positive of pride!

With this realization though comes immediate attacks from the enemy... Suddenly, I became a little too critical of myself. I would be self conscious of my decisions, tiptoeing around people, now trying to win their approval. I feel like they are some people who are trying to size me up, so I should always perform. So from being overly confident, I became overly shy... either way, it's a self-centered attitude because performance became the basis of everything.

But this truth hit me: that when God says He is with us, He is right there cheering us on, guiding us to be the best person He intended us to be. There will always be people who will not like you, who will always be the critical ones, but when you are part of a team and a church community, you have to know they are cheering you on and praying for you! They want you to do well!

In a room full of people, they are the Pauls and you are the Timothy. They are the ones who want you to do good, they are happy when you excel, they want to see and help you grow.. but that can only happen if you surrender every single moment to Him and rest on His abundant supply of grace. When we start relying on His grace, then it stops being about us, and all credit goes to Him.  It's not an easy process but it's God's way of pruning parts of us that need to be weeded out so we will be more fruitful. :)

These truths, I am learning to embrace and live out these past few months in the ministry. Still a work in progress here! So I pray that if ever you find yourself in the same boat, whether you're on the verge of being the prideful one or the overly conscious person who's too worried about other people's opinion, know that your security lies in only One person... And that One person is fighting with you and He is right there cheering you on to be excellent and be the best person you can be.

You can do anything in Jesus!

PS. Just thoughts on a Monday :D

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