Under and Over

Under and Over (1,246)

August 22nd, 2011

A sweet woman—I met her yesterday after my show in New York. She had just returned from a trip to Quebec and also a train excursion through Boston. She was filled with the exhilaration of travel and blessing, only offering one lamentation—a concern that the young people she saw on the train in Boston possessed a melancholy in their countenance that she feared would not fare well for them as they grew older.

She is right. If the light of the body is the eye, then the human race seems to be expelling a visage of darkness. But why? Our society’s children—a generation raised under the false teaching of “self esteem” is now beginning to reap the crop of its blight.

We have taught them to overplay their abilities and underplay their difficulties. We have defined this as confidence-producing while interpreted the espousal of humility as “being weak”—easily manipulated. So as someone stands on a talk show, expounding with great bravado their self-belief, the audience applauds—while simultaneously wondering how much of it is just plain hogwash.

If you want joy in your life, you should learn to underplay your abilities and overplay your weaknesses. It doesn’t affect your self-worth; nor does it deter your determination to do well. It simply places you in the position Jesus describes as “taking the lower seat”—and the purpose for taking the lower seat is not to condemn yourself to a relegated status of failure. No—it is to place yourself a position to be called up because of the quality of your life as opposed to placing yourself in a position you cannot live up to and then being called down for your arrogance.

People are unhappy because they have been taught to be confident and they feel inadequate, but rather than dealing with their lack, they mask it with a verbal onslaught of claims and promises which rarely come to fruition.

There is power in underplaying your abilities but also in confessing your faults. Matter of fact, the Bible says that without the confession of faults to one another we often fail to gain healing. That is a powerful thought.

Let me give you an example. A lady complimented me on my performance yesterday and I told her she was kind. She became a little angry with me and replied, “I’m not kind. It’s just true.” I know she meant well. But I do believe it is kind when someone notices my efforts and deems them to be beneficial. I never found that expecting blessing makes it richer—but I have discovered that living a life of being surprised by goodness does make one feel fuller—possessing a greater sense of abundance.

Our world is sad because we promised to be glad and instead we ended up mad.

I can’t promise you much of anything. Even my talents are sometimes buried under a bushel of dismay or fear. So I will be honest and share my potentials with you more candidly—and at the same time tell you my weaknesses clearly. Bluntly—merely stating my deficiencies does not make me weak; I am only weak when I ignore my shortcomings and make you believe that they will not deter me in any way.

So you have to make up your mind—if you’re going to overplay your abilities and underplay your weaknesses, you’re going to generate a level of expectation which is not only difficult to live up to, but also may leave no room for you to go the second mile and exceed your claims.

On the other hand, if you want true happiness, you should underplay your abilities and overplay your weaknesses. It gives you room to surprise your fellow-man. And after all, everybody loves a surprise.

Published in: on August 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm  Comments (1)  
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