Last week I promised to share some of the principles I'm using to clarify my voice. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I'm having serious doubts. One of my chief concerns is that 'advice' blogs don't really feel like my voice. But, what the heck--I'm in research mode so let's give it a shot.
I've been thinking and rethinking and pondering and re-pondering. And then it came to me...this isn't working.
Instead, I started listening.
If this is the voice God gave me and the message he has for me to share, then I should probably get his thoughts on what to say and how to say it. True to form, he hasn't laid out a four-point plan or wrapped up his thoughts in a concise revelation. But as I've been intentional to spend extended time alone with God, some things have strangely started making sense. Its less a detailed syllabus and more cartoon map. There are general shapes and major landmarks, and the distances are a little off . But I trust the details will get filled in as I actually start traveling.
Mistakes are painful. Therefore, I want a fool-proof plan before I take any action, complete with pie charts and line graphs and clear, measurable outcomes in place.
In fact, part of the process seems to be trial and error. Not as a cruel test, but as a refining tool that shapes and sharpens as I learn to trust God's direction and the values he has been developing in me. Don't get me wrong--I like a good goal. But to overuse a cliche'--it's not the destination, its the journey.
Trust My Heart
If I'm listening to God and I feel strongly about something, I should just go for it. After all, it's probably divinely inspired, right?
Maybe, maybe not.
One of the difficulties I experience as a human is the deceitfulness of my own heart. Such a drag. And along with that condition comes a propensity to both overvalue some of my insights and ideas and undervalue others. I've been known to trivialize important topics and magnify mole hills. I've used humor inappropriately and sometimes been careless with my freedoms. All this to say...my heart cannot be trusted. It may be a starting point, but in anything I say or do I want to first ask what will be accomplished by my sharing. Does it build up the church? Is it honorable? Does it accurately reflect the heart of God? Does it help? Is it necessary?
Thanks for Nothing
In the interest of full disclosure...I'm on a lot of cold medication right now so this post likely doesn't meet any of the criteria I just established. But just in case you're also under the influence of similar drugs (or, very different drugs that alter your reality) let me summarize:
When discerning my voice--the thing God uniquely put in me--I have found it helpful to:
Once again, not sure this is of any assistance to you at all, but, since I'm not going for perfection, I'm willing to give a shot!
Kelli is a writer, speaker and consultant equipping leaders for a deepening intimacy with Christ, greater impact in ministry and more effective intentionality in all of life.
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