- Melinda K. Bowens
Keeping It Simple: Acceptance
So, according to my mother (a very reliable source for this topic), I have roughly had the same personality since about…birth. I came into this world on my own time and really never stopped. I also had all the questions about everything and everyone, which I still do as well. But my favorite story has to be when a family friend came to visit, and I somehow equated him to the Pillsbury Doughboy. Yep, this story is going exactly where you think it’s going.
In the early 90s (technically before and after the 90s), the Pillsbury Doughboy was a cartoon-like figure used in advertising for the Pillsbury company (click here for a visual). In the commercials, anytime you poked his belly he would squeal with “whoo hoo!” You see this going downhill, but it’s still happening. In a stroke of three-year-old genius, when the family friend came to the door of our home, I found it appropriate to poke him in the belly instead of saying hello. To make it better, I then turned to my mom confused and I asked her why he didn’t say “whoo hoo!”
Rightfully so, everyone involved was embarrassed (not including me). The family friend at least tried to laugh it off so my mom would be less mortified. I say all that to say this, I was clearly born with some of these traits.
While I may have been born with many of my personality attributes that hasn’t stopped me from attempting to change them over the years. Trying my best (at least mentally) to adjust to what I thought was “more acceptable.” I’m not sure whose version or definition of acceptable I was trying to take on, but yeah. I can’t speak to how anyone else experienced my efforts, but the efforts were there. Here are a few things I took notice of:
- My laugh is loud, I know
- My threshold for foolishness (that’s not my own) is low…and you can see it in my face
- My word choices are often funny, even though that’s mostly unintentional
But while I was so busy picking at these things, I forgot to take notice that:
-My laugh is memorable and puts others at ease
-Having an honest face works great for people feeling safe to talk
-Humor is the great connector even in the toughest of times
Ladies and gents, this is what we call a reframe (which we will tackle in depth later).
I believe we spend a great deal of time trying to modify parts of ourselves that God honestly wants to use to glorify Him. We have these unique quirks and talents, but sometimes it feels like we are on the outside of something and we want to be included. I tell people all the time that being quirky is cool now, but 20 years ago, I was just kinda weird!
And you may be in that spot right now. There’s something special, something that others consistently notice in you, but you downplay it because it’s different or uncomfortable. Aht aht! Stop it right now. Do not shy away from your light, accept it. Accept that you are noticeable and that something in you speaks for Him.
While we all have actual areas of needed growth (because always remain teachable), that’s not the same as trying to change a nature God has placed in us. Today, let’s spend a little more time accepting ourselves and a little less time trying to “fix” ourselves.
Let’s do the work!
1. In what ways are you critical of yourself?
2. Is being critical of beneficial to you?
3. How can you accept yourself more today?
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
1 Peter 4:10 NLT
So we are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us. If our gift is to speak God's message, we should do it according to the faith that we have;
Romans 12:6 GNT
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.
1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT