Starting a new job can cause fear and anxiety for many people. We have all been in that position, right?
For me, it was nerve-wreaking, sleep-depriving, wonderful, and blessed all-in-one.
For the entire first 9 months, I felt so torn and confused. You see, I somehow knew that this opportunity had presented itself for a specific reason, and that God definitely had a hand in this. I just wasn’t sure where His plan was going to lead.
A portion of my prayers while looking for this new job were for a position that would help my family be more financially sound, and that included it being a job which offered very good health insurance for my family. My husband and I were fearful about the growing costs of health insurance and of health care.
God soon blessed me with an immeasurable opportunity. Employment that was not only financially sound with wonderful benefits, but also something that I was really looking forward to doing each day. I felt so blessed. The Lord heard my prayers and answered them fully.
But, this particular job was a bit different than most others that I have had, and I was anxious (in all senses of the word) to watch and experience where it would lead.
I entered on my first day radiating confidence! I was certain that the Lord had hand-picked this job just for me. I began learning my new duties with God-given confidence and vigor.
Soon though, the challenges began. Not long into this new position, I learned that some of my new co-workers were not fond of my radiating confidence. They did not seem to understand what I knew; that God had placed me there for a specific reason, and that I was certain that I was right where I was supposed to be!
Instead, my co-workers began to dislike me and my peppy attitude. They often complained that I was over-confident and defensive when explaining myself.
I began to get a bit discouraged, because it appeared that some of the people around me desired that I act and feel shameful when I would make a mistake or disheartened when I was unable to achieve perfection. But I did not feel shame at mistakes, because I knew that I was indeed right where I was supposed to be and doing what God called me to do, in that new position.
I found myself striving so hard to please the other people that I worked with. Especially when it came to the co-workers who demanded perfection from me. I strongly desired for them to accept me and for them to see the light in my eyes as clearly as I felt it radiating in my heart.
It can be difficult when we find ourselves in these situations in life. Sometimes anxiety can rule if we are not careful to cling to the truths that we know.
As believers, when perfection is expected of us, we already know in our heart that perfection is unattainable for us, and therefore it can cause self-loathing to strive so wholeheartedly toward perfection.
It was at that point in the situation, that I began to feel unsure of myself. I turned to scripture and God put 2 Timothy 1:7 in front of me, to remind me that, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
The only human that could ever, can ever, and will ever achieve perfection was half-human half-holy, Jesus our Christ.
If people in your life are pushing you toward perfection, stand firm in your belief that God’s grace is enough!
So, at this job, I kept my head held high, and placed a sign above my desk that reads “Live by grace, not by perfection.”
I made the choice to hold strong to the truth that it is impossible for us to achieve perfection; and that is alright with me!
The Grace of God is Enough! Live it! Know it, every day!
We can sometimes put so much pressure on ourselves; the last thing we need is to internalize pressure from others!
Listen to the truth in this scripture that I highlight today.
Psalm 34:4-5 (NIV)
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
Look to the Lord for all life’s answers! Share your heart and your fears with Him, and he will guide you along a path that does not require shame.
We are baptized into a community in which there need not be any fears or shame, but rather radiance, possible through faith, always!
Work with all your heart! Give your personal best to all that you do. Use your God-given gifts and talents to achieve your personal best each day. The grace of God makes that enough!