Monday, July 8, 2013

Dealing with Disappointment

The other day Gess and I were in the car and we were talking about a friend who had a great accomplishment.  Gess started saying how she wanted to do that too.  She could not seem to be just happy for the other person.  She wanted to a chance to be a part of it too.  She always wants the attention that everyone else gets and she absolutely hates losing.  While it is good that she wants to try and experience new things, she has to come to the realization that she can't do everything and especially that she can't do everything well.

I told her that while God created her to do special things, he didn't create her to do absolutely everything.  I then talked about the different gifts we were all given.  This particular person was given a very unique gift in sports.  They are excellent at it and have competed around the world.  No matter how hard Gess tries at some things she will never be able to be as good as everyone else.

This is even more of an issue because Gess has special needs.  There may even be some things that most people can do that she will not be able to. She needs to be able to accept that.  We simply do not all have the same abilities and that is OK.  It's how God made us.  It's my goal to have Gess try as much as she can and not be worried about the results.  I want her focus to be on giving her best effort, not being the best at it.

First we need to have the right motive.  Everything we do should bring God glory, not ourself.

"Whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

Then it should not matter how good we are at it.  If we are doing it for the glory of God we will do the best we can.

"Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might" Ecclesiastes 9:10

I am not sure how or if I will ever get these truths through to her. Gess is such a perfectionist.  You know that is partly why she is so good at what she does.  I never had to get her to try things, she has always wanted her independence, even from a really young age.  I am blessed in that regard.  The last thing I want to do is stifle her passion for trying. 

Of course what Gess faces is something we all do. Our sinful nature is selfish and wants that recognition too.  Whether it's an award, the attention, the fame or just someone to be our friend, we want others to like what we do.  I know that I do.  Learning to die to our self is not an easy thing.  It actually goes against our nature.

"But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh  For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires  that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to   each other, so that you cannot do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law." Galatians 5:16-18

Learning to walk in the Spirit is difficult even for adults.  Since we know the apostle Paul struggled with it, we can be assured it won't come any easier to us.  We must be diligent to do the right thing. It's a daily walk, a daily commitment, a daily choice.  We must live by example.  If we have a bad attitude when others succeed, so will our kids.  When we get upset when we do not do something perfect, our kids will notice that too.  To teach the kids, we need to first teach ourselves.

It's not what you do that matters, it's how you do it.  Easy words to say, but not so easy to live by.

1 comment:

Julie Jordan Scott said...

Your words to Gess were so perfect, so loving. My brother had Down's Syndrome and he worked hard at whatever he did... and only showed frustration a few times in his entire life. Being a perfectionist is exhausting... I am finally learning that and I am a typical 50 year old woman! It is so hard for me to make space for my children to be disappointed rather than shelter them from it and yet, I have learned and they have learned so much through just being with it instead of being angry at "it" or "themselves" - so glad to find you today via the Ultimate Blog Challenge facebook group!

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