Let me tell you, since I’ve been pursuing the concept of purpose and discussing it openly with my friends and contacts, I have received so much flack and criticism. I’ll tell you at the end of this post what it taught me. The point of the post is as you are dealing with critical people, don’t let it slow you down. Instead, let it fuel you toward your passion!
I should also say if the remainder of this offends you, I’m sorry it does. Being challenged or criticized has never been a problem for me.
To be clear, I’m no rabble-rouser seeking to generate tension, but when it comes, I don’t run from it either.
Why are Christians so scared of disagreements?
Actually, sometimes opposing opinions are totally unavoidable, right? I view the tension that results from disagreement as a beautiful by-product of conflicting intellects, opinions, and perspectives.
Don’t you love people secure in their opinion? I do, even if I don’t agree with them. In fact, I learn the most from people who have different belief systems than mine.
Again, do I always agree? Nope, but I learn new ways of looking at things.
So, I’m not mad at the
folks who don’t agree a person should
pursue and live out their life purpose leveraging their
skills and talents for God’s kingdom.
Not mad at all.
Dealing with critical people should never slow you down or inhibit you in any way!
Dealing with critical people means you move past what they thing and pursue your dream or life purpose in spite of their critique. It is finding a way to ignore them and stay your course in spite of them.
My informal purpose research revealed two types of Christians exist in this area.
Types of Christian-living and approaches to life.
1. ‘Go with the flow’ Christians
These Christians genuinely believe all you need to do is be Christian and live a Godly life. That’s it.
Sure, that gets you to heaven, but if you spend time here on earth, I think there is more for you to do while you occupy. Still, they just go through life moment by moment, doing whatever they do without the energetic passion propelling them to make a real difference with their life.
I’d rather have a root canal than live this way. I think people embrace this way of thinking for a host of reasons.
1) Maybe they are too young to know any better (i.e. youthful ignorance).
2) Maybe they are too old to try any better (i.e. old-people complacency).
3) Maybe they are too afraid to step out of their box of warm, cozy comfort (i.e. “scardy cats”)
Whatever their reason for thinking this way, I say this lukewarm type of living is OK if that is what they want to do.
No, thanks for me.
My heroes of faith took armor and attacked giants, got bitten by snakes, and lived to tell about it, threw sticks on the ground, and watch a snake form.
Lotta snake examples, but you get my point.
My heroes of the faith did not just go through life willy-nilly seeing what would happen. When God told them their purpose, they jumped in with both feet. They kept pursuing until God took them home.
That’s what you want to do. That’s what I want to do anyway. I don’t want to be stressed out dealing with critical people. I want to stay focused.
I’m going step over (not on) them and advance toward what God has for me to do. Plain and simple!
Go with the flow Christians don’t pay attention to that thing in their “gut” that points them to their purpose. They just…go with the flow of life. B.O.R.I.N.G.
In my opinion, go with the flow Christians see no need to press toward the mark of the high calling. They are just content being Christians.
That’s too passive for me. I’m in heated pursuit of my destiny. I ain’t got time for that!
2. The hot and cold Christian Woman
I’ve been this type of chick before.
Hot and cold Christians typically get a word from God run passionately toward it and then grow cold after time.
Some of it is personality, other is fear and more of it is not even being aware of God’s purpose for your life.
For years, I didn’t know what God wanted me to do beyond being a greeter at my local church and casually blogging here and there. The discontentment from not knowing why I was breathing and born in this generation bred immobility and restlessness.
If you don’t have a purpose, your engine does not rev and reel. In place of vigor and excitement, your life morphs into a dull, gray ball of simply”existing”.
You bounce from one boring, pithy, safe, activity to another. Seeking…searching…looking for what I’m talking about – PURPOSE!
This sort of person finds they have so much time (doing nothing that sets their heart afire). That’s why they have SO MUCH TIME to criticize others who are doing something with lives. This describes my late twenties. Sad.
Live in your life purpose, Christian Woman!
No thanks, I embrace my life purpose and I know I have one.
Girl, I want the fire of the Holy Spirit to burn in me so fervently hot it forces me to move forward.
I want it to resonate with me in this natural realm so what seems ordinary to others is covered in the supernatural presence of the Holy Spirit. The best part: it will be anointed because I am anointed to do it. I am designed to do it. I’m called to do it.
Do you want that too?
Examples of purpose-filled Christians
Matthew could have easily stayed a simple Christian tax collector. He would have still been saved, right?
Nuh-unh. Not good enough for him to do life as normal, he pressed, pushed, and pursued the better part! Doing big things with Jesus. He chose to serve God in his purpose.
Let me be clear again: purpose may not be a “big” swoop. Your purpose may be to encourage and teach women how to knit. You may be supposed to blog for the numbers that visit it. You may be created to write poetry that causes people to pursue God. Big does not equal world-wide. It could be block-wide.
Another example: what if Mary had rejected her opportunity to bring Christ into the world? What if she had doubted and declined. I don’t believe God forced her. God doesn’t possess in an oppressive way.
That’s what Satan does. He unlawfully takes space.
But, God works in our submitted hearts to do what He wants us to do (our purpose). Read Phil 2:13.
No, Mary relented to the hugeness of what God had in store. She said YES!
No, Mary answered, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.” Luke 1:38
Will you say “Yes” to God’s call?
That’s the answer we should give – YES!
We should do what Mary did and say just let it happen.
That’s what I want to do in regards to my life purpose of inspiring and encouraging women. I want to relent to what God wants me to do in my body, on this earth, in my sphere of influence. I submit and move toward it with childish abandon.
All the heroic people you read about in the Bible pursued and embraced God’s purpose for their lives! You should too!
All the people whose inspirational or instructional books you read are heatedly pursuing their purpose! You should too!
Hey, I have one more! The people whose music you play or sing in worship weren’t “go with the flow” Christians! They were purpose-pursuers! You should too!
Each of these sat in front of a computer screen and worked. They stood in front of a microphone and sang. They chased down their purpose.
Whatever God has you to do, do it. Maybe he wants you to be a janitor. Be the best! Share the gospel in it!
Maybe God wants you to teach children. Do it! Don’t be afraid!
Let the Holy Spirit guide you.
Find your personal purpose on this earth! Then you will be able to share the gospel in a way that will get attention and that will demonstrate to the world, a fulfilled Christian life.
Now let me say this. If God has you operating in a temporary state of discomfort, that’s a totally different thing.
Sometimes he will put you in a job you hate in order to teach you something from it.
Sometimes, He’ll put you there to reveal his purpose for you. Who knows.
But, as a lifestyle, you should live a fulfilled life as a Christian on this earth while sharing God’s goodness to the world.
Shut up, Dream Killers
Don’t listen to the mediocre people who criticize your pursuit. No!
A dog doesn’t bark at a parked car.
Don’t be a parked car! Definitely, don’t be a barking dog either.
Move toward the passion God put in your heart, Sis.
Move toward your dream! Let the world see what God can do through you. Maybe, it will inspire them, too! I’m sorry but dealing with critical people is par for the course for anyone who steps outside of the “norm.”
Finally, what those squawkers taught me…
What did I learn from all this criticism?
I learned purpose is threatening. It threatens the status quo. It forces a person to examine his/her life to see if they have maximized it to it’s fullest. That’ scary for the dogs barking.
It threatens the person with too little self-confidence or God-confidence to try something new, different, or” out of the norm”.
Leave them in the “just another day” place and head toward something big for Jesus!
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