Meditations from Proverbs 9 on Lady Wisdom, Part 6
In my session this week with my Life Coach, Maritza challenged me about being so left-brained and goal-oriented, at the expense of being relationship-oriented. Sharon chimed in, observing that in the last two weeks as I have been thinking about my new business goals that I have been less relational.
My initial response to their collective input was not so positive: inside, I resented it. I did some journaling to interact with God about this and explore what was happening to me on the inside. As a recovering workaholic, my “default setting” it to get my value from what I do. Which of course is the issue they were both trying to address!
If I get my value from what I do, and I am confronted with the idea that it might be good to change, my first reaction is to think that I am not performing well, so my value is being attacked. My shame response is to withdraw and circle the wagons. Here is the great irony: if I am controlled by my shame, I am not able to receive input. If I don’t respond to input, I won’t grow in a healthy manner. That ultimately means that I don’t perform as well!
On the other hand, if I have a broken and humble spirit, and if I don’t get my value from my performance, but get my value from being loved as God’s son, then I am better able to receive input from others on how I can more effectively grow. And I perform better.
The difference is the motivation. One is fear-based, where I perform so that I am loved. The other is love-based, where my actions flow out of the fact that I am already loved.
8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. Prov 9:8-9 (ESV)
I have experienced the dynamics of this verse. To the extent I was a scoffer, I resented their input. If I were a wiser man, securely anchored in God’s unconditional love for me, I would thank them for caring enough about me to see my perspective align better with God’s perspective. Lord, give me grace to be more of a wise man!