These last few weeks, I have been quite aware of my blind spots. We all have those areas where our view is obstructed–others see it, and we have no clue! Oftentimes, we need a moment of example or a failing or a check from our car to ding and tell us that we are in danger.
I have spent almost 4 years thoughtfully building a business. I have painstakingly tried to guard integrity, to guard the hearts of those I am working with, to guard relationships over a sale or a business transaction, and to guard against my identity being intertwined with my business (and it is not). It has cost me speed, but things that are worth doing with integrity and intention cost us some kind of gain. I have been at peace with that fact. Even so, sometimes that cost stings, and I have to remind myself the true Purpose of why I live my life and why I build a business.
In business, relationships, childrearing, etc, there will always be someone who seems to “get it better” and “be excelling more”…that is a true fact and perception. Comparison will suck the life out of us. We have to make a conscious decision to stick to our path, to stay in our lane, and to keep moving. We have to remember the heart of why we are doing what we are doing. That heart, for me, is as unto the Lord for His renown and for His glory. When I allow comparison to stain my perception and my intention, I have lost a huge battle on so many fronts.
Irony happened to me these last few months. I have had several people approach me to tell me how they have been inspired and encouraged by how I have been conducting my business. Many of these people have told me that they would be taking on entrepreneurship in a business of their own. Part of me was thankful for their encouragement, and part of me felt like a failure that they didn’t want to join me in business (The ridiculousness of my heart is that I had not asked them to join me in business). I know, that sounds gross, doesn’t it? It is a gross picture of my heart. Blind spot encroaching!!!!
In the process, I had an interaction where somebody treated me like that. They were disappointed that I was not benefitting them instead of relating with me as a new friend. God whispered into my heart…”jen, this is exactly where you have allowed your heart to go instead of rejoicing with others.” GULP.
I had to step away from a personal perception that was selfish and really look at the intention of why I am doing what I am doing. My “why” is to help others come alive, period. My heart’s cry is to glorify God and to encourage others in their journeys with Him–no matter what they are doing.
Do I want the best for others and their families? Yes. Do I want people to become entrepreneurs and to grow? Yes. Do I want people to be in better places of provision? Yes. Do I want women to grow in gifting and in confidence? YES. Do they all have to play on my team? No, not at all. Am I happy that I can be an example and encouragement to others? Yes. There was my answer: Rejoice and encourage these women not just outwardly but inwardly from the heart entrusting my business and theirs to the Father. Period.
See, I have been feeling this “us v them” thing for awhile. Everyone has a stake in the game, a position they are promoting. It doesn’t feel good to be the “them.” When people make their “role” the “it,” we are all losing. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. US. When you are defending your brand, your business, your church, your party, your schooling, your philosophy on health…we forget to encourage one another even if it costs us.
I’m gonna go here…and I cannot believe it. We all have a need to stop, to think about which kingdom is the “ultimate,” to think about encouraging one another as brothers and sisters. Woe to me if I, in my heart, words or attitudes undercut a brother or sister in Christ. I have lost sight of eternal things. When I am more concerned about building my little “kingdom” than His…that is a devastating blindspot.
So, I ask ALL of us…where are we letting competition and personal gain undercut loving others? This is my first foray into business, but it is not my first rodeo on the comparison circuit. For those in real estate, can you rejoice when another realtor is thriving and serving others in a beautiful way? Pastor, can you rejoice when another church is gaining traction in the community by serving and loving others and sharing the Gospel? Business owner, what happens when someone you are called to serve is in competition with you? Will you undercut them, question their practices, down their products, or will you treat them with respect and dignity? Momma, what if a friend chooses another way to feed, to educate, to provide, to birth, that is in direct opposition to your stance? May we all breathe, align our hearts with His, and remember what we are ultimately called to be about.