Luke 6:41 (NIV) “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
Why are we so uncomfortable with the skills and talents of others that we can’t wait to find a flaw and point it out. Even when a flaw doesn’t necessarily exist, we are quick to manufacture or embellish something so we can feel better about our lack of talents and skills. Case in point, Beyonce’s National Anthem Performance at the Inauguration of President Obama. I have heard words used to describe this performance as: “scandal” “debacle” “fraud” “deceitful” among other negative adjectives. The really sad part is that her performance was none of these things. She is a talented and skillful performer who is aware of what effect cold temperatures, lack of sound check and practice, and a large venue can have on her voice. She was conscious of the opportunity she was given and the magnitude of the occasion and wanted to be sure she offered nothing less than her best. It goes without saying that her talents are authentic noting the many performances she has rendered live and recorded. I purposely use the word Performance so many times because that is the only word I can think of to more accurately describe her singing. This young lady had absolutely nothing to prove by taking a chance on giving less than her best. She rightly assessed a situation and made a judgement call based on her skills, talents, and abilities not in spite of them. And instead of defending her actions and feeling like she needed to satisfy the outcry of the negative and pessimistic people of the nation, she had them to stand during a press conference while she belted out her live rendition of The National Anthem and then quietly asked “any questions?”
How often do we find ourselves on the negative end of someone else’s insecurities? How often are we attacked for just the slightest imperfection? Especially given the fact that we never claimed to be perfect. How often are others quick to point a finger and say “aha, I knew they couldn’t be as good as they thought they were?” How often have we been made to feel like we have to defend a decision we made based on our knowledge of the circumstances and our abilities? Too often if you ask me!! I no longer feel it is my duty to minimize my skills and talents to make someone else feel better about themselves or to lessen their insecurities. I am a Designer’s Original and I was made to fulfill a purpose and an ultimate plan. My diminishing myself does not serve the greater good of humanity, it is a disservice to my God. I am meant to shine in the area that God gifted me regardless of how it makes others feel. In using my gifts for the intents and purposes in which they were given, I am not only fulfilling my God given place in society, I am being the blessing that I was made to be.
So the next time the chorus of naysayers and negative voices begin to do their warm-ups so they can sing their songs of doom and deception, I will take a page from Ms. Beyonce: make them stand up and show them what I can do….Any questions?