Are you the smartest person in the room? Change rooms.

Sometimes when I say this, people take it the wrong way. That speaks to their insecurities, their willingness to assume that I amhaughty and think more highly of myself than I ought to.

Understand first that God never said I shouldn’t think well of myself. Everything that HE created, He called good. And since I’m a NEW CREATION IN CHRIST this means I am good—His handiwork, made for His good pleasure. He formed me with purpose in mind, and I appreciate Him for thinking so deeply and carefully about me to make me how He made me. I marvel at the work of His hands. I get to include me in that work.

Understand also: I have learned that to be the best at everything everywhere means that I’ve limited myself to not being very good at anything at all. If I want to master a thing, I must be willing to leave off being the best wherever I am and follow those who have reached levels I’ve yet to rise to. I need to study at the feet of those who have crossed rivers and valleys and spoken to mountains and sycamore trees and carried crosses and died deaths I have yet to. This means that I never meet a ceiling; I just find new floors, new starting points of exploration and revelation and wisdom. Every door I’m allowed to enter is one in which there is something more to learn. I’m never out of things to learn, and never out of ways to grow.

Growth requires stretching and reaching.

And it’s okay if you don’t want to—not every tree grows tall in the forest. Some are okay to survive on the small rays of light that break through from time to time between the clusters of branches and leaves and vines up above before wasting away. But the tallest trees instinctively recognize that to get the best sunshine and thrive? They have to go where the tallest treetops sit, lean where those long high trunks lean and understand where to lose unnecessary branches and where to grow new ones to optimize the light. To get tall, yeah. But to THRIVE, too. You know, ARISE and SHINE, for thy LIGHT has come. And the Glory of the Lord shall be revealed…

You should never be the smartest person in every room you enter. That means you have stopped learning. And to stop learning means you have stopped living.

I am grateful to God for every place in which I struggle. It means I am learning something new.

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