My friend plopped down on my couch, curling her feet underneath her. With a coffee cup in hand, she started to tell me about all the things that had unfolded in her life since we last talked. As the conversation transitioned from the events of her life to how her heart was processing everything, we wandered into family finances.
She soon confessed that she and her husband, who have been married for more than four years, were still using separate bank accounts. When I asked why, she smiled and said, “I didn’t want to give up the freedom to spend what I want when I want.”
I laughed because I understood; I have the same independent streak. As she continued she explained that having separate bank accounts hasn’t been a problem on the whole. After blowing into her still steaming cup, she shared the crux of her story: She realized that because they have separate bank accounts, both she and her husband have a tendency to foster a great deal of insecurity about their finances, simply because neither can see what the other has!
As she started to unpack her revelation, firecrackers were going off in my head. This is true about all kinds of insecurities; they are fostered when we only allow ourselves to see half of the whole.
There are many occasions in our lives when the other half of the story simply has not unfolded. This fear of the future that only God knows is certainly part of our faith walk, and perhaps it’s an ongoing journey toward trust in God. But that’s not exactly the same situation as my friend was describing. In her case, she has access to a whole pot but is fostering insecurity in her life because she won’t take advantage of knowing the whole.
Does this sound familiar to you? I do this all the time as I deal with my own insecurities about the gifts, talents, and skills I’m desperately trying to deepen in my life. Rather than fully acknowledging the gifts God has given me, I constantly undercut myself—and I’m not alone in this way of thinking. I have friends who are wonderfully talented—a singer, a writer, an artist, a teacher, a preacher, a nurse, a poet—but each one must regularly be reminded that she has more than one great song, more than one great painting, more than one great poem inside of her.
The Bible is so clear about every single believer possessing spiritual gifts: “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other” (1 Corinthians 12:4–7).