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17 March 2008

Doing What Comes Naturally

I don't know if I've done a wonderful job of pouring out what's in my head in today's post. I'm interested in knowing if it makes sense to anyone but me...

I believe that is is a wholly good thing to attempt to be the very best at whatever one does. I don't encourage anyone to ever give their second-best effort. "Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom." (Ecclesiastes 9:10, NLT)

A couple of days ago during my copious spare time ("LOL" may be used appropriately here), I was playing some head-to-head Boggle online and decided I'd better quit after I was beaten in three consecutive rounds (the computer selects tougher opponents from around the world as you win rounds, and arguably easier ones if you lose). As I've stated before, I don't find defeat to be particularly pleasing, and I felt like my temper was about to bubble to the surface.

I believe every person was born with a unique kind of mental wiring. Some people are peacemakers, some are natural-born leaders, some are particularly organized, some are good at delegation, some are naturally empathetic, etc. Some "natural" traits are also developed as a result of a person's upbringing or life circumstances.

A few times during my life I've tried to justify my innate desire to win by telling myself that the Bible encourages us to do our best, and that's why I'm like that. I have to wonder if there are others like me -- people who sometimes pat themselves on the back for keeping the peace, for instance, when in fact they would go crazy if they did not exercise that trait.

It's almost humorous that we sometimes think of ourselves as being extra "good" or as being a more Godly person for doing that which comes natural to us.

I can't help thinking of what Jesus said: "If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return." (Luke 6:32-34, NLT)

Pride is an aggravating beast.


Christy said...

Your post makes sense to me. We should try our best in all that we do. The hard part for most people (I think) is not taking the wrong kind of pride when something is done well (the beast, as you called it). I don't think that I consider myself "good" at anything. In fact I am EXTREMELY hard on myself. If I ever do feel that I've accomplished something and it goes unnoticed, then I assume it wasn't as good as I may have thought and so goes the self-deprecating. I found out from a marriage retreat following the FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES book that my love language is 'words of affirmation'. Probably not the type of answer you were looking for, but then again I'm probably being hard on myself.

Anonymous said...

The book Christy mentions above is great along with Tim LaHaye's Why We Act the Way We Do. Both of these books give real insight to how people are different and what makes each type of person tick. My frustrations with people went down tremendously after reading both of these. I highly reccomend them.

Tony M said...

I'm pretty sure I agree with all your points... it's been a long day, and my mind is pretty much getting to shut-off mode (especially after being up in the middle of the night for a while... stupid acid reflux!). But I agree - God has fashioned us in particular ("peculiar" seems to be an appropriate word, too) ways. Just like back in "the day" when He specially gifted Bezalel, Oholiab, and others for the construction of the temple and its accoutrements (hey, there's a fancy, big word! I'm not even sure I really know what it means... :). Surely they did their best, as for the Lord (for them, it was quite literal, but should it really be any different for us?).

Ok, that's enough from me, I think.

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