Solving the Puzzle of Life
Fear complicates your life! Ever feel like life is a puzzle…and a complicated one at that?
One of my favorite activities is putting jigsaw puzzles together – the more pieces and the more challenging, the better. It’s an activity that allows my mind to wander and to focus. It brings me joy!
Trying to fit together the many pieces of life – that’s complicated too – sometimes frustrating!
The first step to assembling a puzzle for me is to sort the pieces. I like to separate out all the edge pieces first. Then I like to sort the remaining pieces according to color. This simplifies the process greatly! Instead of having 1000 different pieces, I might have six or seven different piles. That seems a whole lot more manageable, don’t you think?
What if you were able to simplify your life in a similar way? For you visual folks, here’s what I mean:
These are the key areas that make up the unique person you are! When you are living out of who God created you to be, your values guide your life in brilliant and powerful ways. After all, they are what’s most important to you!
You thrive! The strengths of your personality shine and your weaknesses are minimized. You know what your strengths and spiritual gifts are and utilize them in whatever you do!
Your experiences in life, both good and bad, never go to waste! You see the incredible ways that God is able to turn those tragedies into beautiful opportunities. And your interests don’t get overlooked. You find creative ways to weave them into your life and work in life-giving ways!
Sounds simple, and it is! And yet so often we let fear take over and that’s a very different story!
When fear is at the center of your life it changes everything!
Let’s explore how fear complicates your life in more detail.
1. Your Personality
There is no one with a personality just like yours! You are unique! And personalities in and of themselves are not good or bad. What makes the difference is whether are you living out of your personality’s strengths or out of your personality’s weaknesses.
Unfortunately, when fear is running the show, it keeps you from acting out of your personality’s best bits, keeping you from living out of your full potential.
On the other hand, when you are living out of who God created you to be, your personality shines!
What’s your personality? What weaknesses creep in for you when fear is running the show?
2. Your Top 5 Values
Your values are what is most important to you; what’s critically essential! When fear is in the mix, however, it has a way of distracting you from what’s most important.
My Top 5 values are Relationships (With God & Others), Communication, Stewardship, Creativity, and Solitude. Fear causes me to compromise my relationships, communicate poorly, steward my time and resources badly, decreases my creativity and it keeps me from making time to be alone.
How about you? What are your top 5 values and how does fear distract you from them?
3. Your Strengths & Spiritual Gifts
Strengths are tricky. They are often so much a part of you that you don’t even realize they are a strength. In fact, you probably think that everyone can do what you can do with ease, maybe even expect others to possess the same strengths.
Maybe you’ve completed a Strengths Finder assessment and know what your strengths are. Or maybe others have pointed out what they see as your strengths to you. Either way, fear has a way of blinding you to your strengths and spiritual gifts. Even worse, you will believe you don’t have anything to offer and that’s just not true! You do! You were created to make a difference, but making a difference won’t happen on fear’s watch!
What are your strengths and/or spiritual gifts? How does fear minimize your strengths?
4. Your Interests & Experiences
Fear can’t wait to disqualify you! It convinces you that your experiences are the very reason you should not attempt what you are trying to do. You will never overcome the negative.
And that’s just not true!
I’ve been through a whole lot in my life! I bet you have too! It’s exciting to see how God uses the good, the bad, and the ugly for His purposes. Nothing goes to waste! I love that! Don’t let fear tell you something different!
And your interests – the activities you love doing and the subjects that excite you will fade in fear’s presence. Don’t let that happen! Those interests have been planted in you for a reason!
What experiences and interests do you have? How does fear color your experiences and cause your interests to fade?
Is fear at the center of your life or are you operating out of freedom – living out of who God created you to be? It matters! As long as fear is in control life will feel complicated and impossible. You will be overwhelmed!
Choose freedom! Begin to appreciate the amazing person created you to be!
When it comes to your life, how is fear making it more complicated than it needs to be?
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / martinm303