giving up on being good


I’ve been living my life according to certain lists: what I can and cannot do. Based on what I think I’m good at.

“Can you navigate for me?”
“No, but Helen can!”

“Can you take a picture of us?”
“Mmm, Sami can!”

When my roommates sing together it is so beautiful.
“Beth, do you want to sing with us?”
yes yes I really do
“No, it’s ok”

This system never used to bother me. As long as I knew what I was not good at, I could stay away from those things. Stay away from judgment, embarrassment, and failure.

There are times when I venture into the Not Good list. When I’m feeling bold and adventurous. But I will make sure everyone knows I already know I’m not good at that. You don’t have to tell me.

We can’t be good at everything right?
I should just focus on what I know I’m good at.

This is what I told Helen when I explained my hesitations with trying to get better at writing.

Is it worth it? I’m only ok at it.
I want to be a good teacher. I should focus on that.
I gave up trying to be a good artist.
I can’t be good at everything.

This made sense to me
But Helen starts crying

“It makes me sad to hear you say you’ve given up on being a good artist.
I look at the things you make and they are really wonderful.”
She says through tears

Now I’m crying too
About all the brutal critiques
About all the comparison

I gave up because I wasn’t as good as them
But they don’t think they are good enough either.

I was just never cut out to be a professional artist.
I knew I’d never get hired over them.


What I did everything for the glory of God?

I can’t even imagine what that would look like.

What if I only cared what He thought?

I can’t even imagine how freeing that would be.


Instead, I stick with what I’m Good at,
seek validation for what I’m Ok at,
and avoid what I’m Not Good at as much as possible


It’s time to stop living in the lists.

I was not created to compare myself to others in order to decide what I can and cannot do.

God calls us to do things that we think we cannot do.

Extraordinary, unimaginable things.

He calls us to be bold all the time.

Without disclaimers.


Maybe I’m not very good at that
Or anything else

But Jesus is the best at that
And everything else

My Father is the best at everything
So I don’t have to be


6 thoughts on “giving up on being good

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s