Earlier this year, I took an assessment for work. It was designed to show me the reluctances I have at doing part of my job. As we went through the class where they explain the different reluctances, I could see myself in some of them. Then they gave us our results. One of the ones I scored highest in was the Hyper Professional category. It said I have a tendency to want to always look the part – which is true because for years I wore my tie until it was time for bed.
As I began to think about that particular score, I wondered why was I a Hyper Professional. I asked myself hard questions and traced it back to my childhood. I wanted to fit in with the other kids, but my parents lacked the funds to afford the name brand clothes. In my mind, I thought that if I dressed a certain way, wore certain shoes, and did things a certain way, I would gain acceptance. This line of thinking became who I was all the way into my adult life which dictated where I lived, what I drove, and I presented myself.
This test revealed to me that I wasn’t content with who I was and that I was compensating for it in how I presented myself. It was a real eye opener. I realized that I needed to be content with who I am, and that I didn’t need those things to gain acceptance. Once I had that aha moment, I began to let go of desires to have certain things that I thought I needed. I began to see how pervasive this line of thinking had become in my life, and it brought me to the where I realize that I need to be content with who God made me to be. I don’t need the material things to enhance that.
I tell you this because so many of us struggle with feelings that tell us we are not enough which then compel us to compensate in other ways. In Matthew 5, Jesus gave us the Beatitudes which are declarations of blessings to us. In verse 5, He said, “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought” (MSG). When you and I come to that moment of contentment with who we are by God’s design, we’ll find the happiness and acceptance we’ve been looking for. It’s not found in shoes, cars, watches, or clothes; it’s found in understanding you were designed to be you on purpose and for a purpose.
What ways have you been compensating to find acceptance and happiness? How can you release them in order to find contentment with who you are?