Arrows Vs. Attractions

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"We are to be the arrow not the attraction."

~Tara Jenkins


My friends, this is what I know.

#1 The fame culture has seeped it's way into the Christian culture. It has come in, not just through our personal desires to have approval of man, but we have now elevated many of God's beautifully crafted arrows into attractions. The mega church pastors, the writers, the conference speakers, bloggers, musicians and even people in our own circles. We have started seeing people as way more impressive than our God. We flock to certain speakers events all over the country, but really in the stillness of our souls can we honestly say we chase the maker of all of them as much? It makes me sad and leads me to my next point.

#2 Of the women that I have had the pleasure to sit with and meet, I don't know a single woman, who has been given a platform whether through blogging, or business or writing or teaching that wants to be the attraction. I love that about this IF tribe. They desperately want to be arrows. They want to be approached and spoken to with ease, to be able to sit with people and talk about their kids, their shenanigans and their marriages in a real and honest way. They want to be able to be seen as just another Mamma or wife or sister or friend trying to navigate these deep waters of obedience with us. They don’t want to be always noticed for their accomplishment, they don’t want a big fuss made over them, because they know that if it is, the view of God’s glory is terribly clouded by humanity.

It’s a delicate balance of obedience and humility to be able to walk in your gifts in this fame obsessed world. God has clearly given gifts of influence and wisdom and leadership to so many and when I read Restless by Jennie Allen for the first time back in October, when it was just an advanced readers copy I had scored at Allume, I literally found all of my biggest fears and realities strewn over the page, black and white there for me to see. Words I would have never uttered out loud for fear of being misunderstood, yet truths that were so deeply rooted in my soul and mind. Jennie wrote about sitting on the back row with her gifts of teaching and leadership because of how it would change the way people saw her. She was comfortable with the small, she was totally ok with not thrusting herself out there fully into obedience, except she wasn’t okay at all. The Holy Spirit wouldn’t let it rest.

Being obedient always comes with a cost, a cost of being misunderstood, deemed not knowledgeable enough or not trained enough, not prepared enough and the cost  of being noticed, of being successful for the kingdom of God, of being thrust into the spotlight that is far, far from the back row where sitting on your gifts is way less risky. Or is it? Is it less risky for the Kingdom to trust God and be terrified or to sit on the gifts you have been given and pass up and opportunity to play your role in the story because you are afraid of what people will think of you? Are we driven by what is seen or what is unseen? Are we driven by public opinion or of lost souls that need to be led to the feet of Christ?

We all have to weigh the cost of being obedient against the idea of how that would change the way our friends interacted with us, how our church members view us, how society could very well thrust us into this fame crazed society and how her life could drastically change. We have to think about this because as Christ following people, the fame culture that has seeped into our marrow has become stumbling blocks for those who just want to use their spiritual gifts and passions as arrows.  How many more Jennies’ are sitting on the back row with their gifts because they feel like if they use them to write books, or Bible studies or blogs or in their appearance on stages and online that they will become attractions that in turn lead to distractions from the very thing they are trying to lead people to? How many?  
 
 

I truly believe that to combat this habit of elevating these people,who are just trying to use their gifts, that we as women (and men) need to rise up into our own callings. We must support eachother by running together and not just having our entire days spent staring so long and hard at those in the spotlight with their gifts that we elevate them to a place where only our God should sit in our lives and secondly where we squelch our gifts because we are measuring ourselves up against their places in our time. Throw away the blasted measuring sticks and comparison charts, the follower countings, and fb likes. Stop being lazy and invest the time in getting to know who God is through His word. Create space in your life to hear Him and to untangle the threads of your past and think purposefully what you want your future to look like. What is it that makes your heart break for His people. Look at your life and your experience and stop using these other people’s gifts as a crutch and start using them as a catalyst for your own journey.

My passion is to see women take their places, to have their heads lifted and to see us run together. Favoritism in Joseph's story and in our stories will lead to disaster, destruction, oppression of God's perfect, chosen plan. Let's love these women (and men) well, let us cheer them on in this season while they are trying their best to point us to Christ. Let's support them and run with them for the long haul, but let's remember to see them as arrows. Arrows, handcrafted with a purpose from our maker and let's lift our heads not to be noticed or approved by man but to be able to see our own unique designs and directions and let's be shot forward into the unseen by our God. Let's promise to love one another well as we are flung into the unknown of this main event where God on the throne of heaven's mercy seat is our one and only attraction.  Let's make certain the arrows that our collective lives represent, shoot a multitude of eyes and hears towards heaven.

Somewhere, there is someone waiting to hear your unique voice, your angle, your experience in relation to something they are walking through, even if a hundred more are speaking it already. If God placed a passion in you, HE WILL USE YOU!  Be that voice of hope and encouragement; be confident that if God is moving you off the back row, He will carry you all the way through the walk into the light as an arrow, not an attraction.
Love & Blessings, 
Amanda
 

 

5 comments:

  1. Thank you, Amanda! So blessed by this! I am one of those who have been sitting back in awe of all these other women, who seem to so much further ahead of me in writing, blogging, speaking, teaching, whatever. God has been nudging to MOVE for a long time now! Maybe, it's time...

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    1. You are so gifted! Yes, it is time!!!! Love you!

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    2. You have taught me so much about faith, grace and authenticity! THANK YOU for your heart!

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  2. Beautiful words...thank you for sharing!

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