When you got ready for the day, whether school, work, church or play, did you notice anything unique? Did you see any amazing qualities standing out in the mirror? For some reason, we fail to see our own qualities. We look in the mirror each day and see a reflection of ourselves. Did we miss noticing anything?
There are a lot of things in our lives, both past and current, that shield us from seeing and truly knowing who we really are. It may have been the father that never told you “You’re awesome” or “I love you.” It may be the circle of friends (or those you think are your friends) that you hang with. It may be that nagging boss who never commends you for a great job at work. In life, our environment has a huge impact on who we think we are. For most, there is much, much more there.
In history, there was one person who learned of his great qualities from his nanny, not his parents. Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Everest was the nanny to Sir Winston Churchill, the man who stood strong against Germany and was instrumental saving Europe from the rule of Hitler. It was Mrs. Everest who attended his school events, encouraged him in public speaking (when most in school laughed), helped him to find his faith and saw his true potential. His parents chose to be socialites and were therefore, emotionally removed from Sir Winston. He was left to be raised by Ms. Everest. Sir Winston said of Mrs. Everest, “She was my confidante. Mrs. Everest looked after me and tended all my wants. It was to her I poured out all my many troubles.”
We rarely find ourselves in ourselves. Instead, we need close family and friends who enable us to know our gifts and strengths. I want to reiterate the word “close.” This means having real people real close to you. You want to have people with equal or higher qualities than you, such as faith and character. Most people with qualities tend to look deeper into their relationships and pull the person with them up to the next rung in life.
In one of the most noted stories in the Bible (Luke 15), we see a son who saw something in himself that wasn’t truly him. The young boy goes to his father to get his inheritance so that he move on in life with his ‘friends.’ We don’t know exactly how long it took before he was broke and eating with the pigs, but the fact is, the son realized these people had merely used him. People like this are leaches. They suck on you till you are dead physical and spiritually. (Note: None of the friends hanging with him when he had all the money were now eating with him in the pig pen.) He reluctantly returns home, but his loving father, seeing his true qualities, puts him back into his family position.
For the parents- We need to stay close to our children and help them see their true calling and purpose.
For our youth- You need to trust your mom and dad’s judgement on your selection of friends. These friends will either take you down or bring you up. There are no other options.
For us “friends”- We need to be truthful with those close to us so we can help them see their true gifts and qualities.
We all need a Mrs. Everest in our lives to tell us “Here is what I see you can become.” Mrs. Everest, for you, may be a parent, close friend or youth pastor. Whoever they are, trust and listen. Don’t miss out on some of the God-given unique qualities and gifts you have received. Once you see these gifts, seek to use them wisely.