My youngest daughter asked me to French braid her hair, so I went ahead and attempted to French braid her hair like three times, and I failed miserably, every single time! Then I had this idea POP into my head; how about I try doing a SIDE French braid – you know because a regular French braid wasn't challenging enough for me.
My daughter agreed that a side French braid would be much better than a regular french braid. As I began braiding her hair all I could think about was how crazy I was to think that I could actually achieve a side French braid when I couldn't even do a regular French braid!
As I completed her side French braid I was in shock at how simple it was for me to do, and it was basically perfect…well it was definitely nicer than the regular French braid I had attempted three times! But this more difficult braid took one attempt, not to mention I had never attempted to do a side French braid in my entire life, what a moment!
As I sat there looking at my handy work The Holy Spirit whispered to my heart that I have a heart that is striving to meet someone else's standards of “normal” or “responsible.” In all honesty I do my best to follow formulas, schedules, routines, and I fail every single time. I fail when other people are REALLY successful at these things. I have always just used this to feed the lie that I wasn't good enough or I was irresponsible.
I then proceeded to tell my husband that I felt like God just wants me to stop trying to meet everyone's standard and to continue taking on the challenge to be myself. This is not always easy to do, especially when there are walls of competition, or when you feel like you are in an environment where there is judgement because you are not acting a certain way.
The feelings of not being good enough truly come from this wall of competition. Then when people feel like they are being judged they begin defending their role through placing judgement on the other person.
I feel this scene plays out so well in the story of Mary and Martha. Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus while Martha was preparing a wonderful meal for Him. We all know the story, Martha begins to criticize Mary for not helping her prepare the meal. Then Jesus proceeds to tell Martha that Mary had made the better choice of sitting at His feet.
Jesus loved Mary AND Martha. When I look at this story I see Martha who is very responsible, and Mary who is probably very emotional and desires connection with people. In all honesty I see that they are BOTH worshiping The Lord, but I think Martha's heart shifted from worship when she criticized Mary for not worshiping Jesus the exact same way she was. The “Mary's” of the world are probably called irresponsible, and the “Martha's” of the world are probably told they aren't “deep” enough, and neither of these statements are true.
But truly the heart of worship is where we put our focus. Our focus needs to be serving The Lord, not making everyone worship Him the way we worship Him. When we get to a place where we embrace our style of worship and service to The Lord, then we can respect and honor another person's way of worshiping and serving Him, too.
Some people can do a perfect regular French braid, and others are naturally gifted at doing a side French braid. Why do we feel we need to be able to accomplish what each other has accomplished? How is that worship? I don't think we all need to sit at the feet of Jesus in order to worship Him, I think we just need to find out how to worship Him with the gifts He has been so gracious to give us.
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