What I Didn’t Know

I’m going to be very transparent for the sake of education in this blog.

I was at a relatively private ministers conference a few years ago with many of the most influential pastors in the world. During an intermission, one of the leaders stated, “If you are new, all of us are approachable, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know people, just come up and talk to us and hang out.”

So, at the pool that afternoon I saw the man who made this statement sitting alone. I approached him and introduced myself. He shook my hand, said hello and abruptly got up and walked away to join a group of his “friends” who were talking about 50 feet away. Ironically, this happened more than once to me during this trip with different people.

As much as I hate to admit it, I felt rejected and like and outsider the rest of that week… The following week, I bitterly reflected on my experience (and the fact that I paid a lot of money to have it) and out of the blue came the Holy Spirit’s punch in the gut…

“How do you know I didn’t have you there for what you could deposit instead of what you could receive?! What if what you are wouldn’t be there if you weren’t…?”

Truth is, I didn’t know because that was never my focus. My focus was on me, my needs and my progress. I never even contemplated the possibility that I may have something to give. This paradigm shift slapped me so hard that it changed how I conduct myself to this day. I’m not looking to people to meet my needs anymore. Instead, I’m looking for opportunities for who I am and what I carry to impact those I come in contact with…and it’s liberated me!

I’ve been to that conference again since then and had a completely contrasting experience.   It’s amazing how different life appears when you are looking for what you can give, instead of what you can get. I came to a realization that even among those who I would perceive to “out-rank” me, God has equipped me with something to deposit…and He has you as well.

You are an essential member of our team. We all lack if you are not present. So DO NOT underestimate the necessity of YOU filling your lane.


  1. Emily Rose Lewis

    Good timing in reading this. I recently took over leading a small group and the first week I gave a huge portion of my testimony publically for the first time. (I have been walking with God 13 years now) Every week I send out an email reminder. Just today I received an email back asking me to remove this person from the email list. It definitely felt like rejection but I talked myself through it and I realize that whatever her reason, I wasn’t going to take it personally. For the briefest moment the thought crossed my mind not to share so much of my past again. But I immediately realized that thought was not from God. I know I obeyed God in sharing. How anyone receives what I do in obedience isn’t in the realm of my responsibility. And like you said, I didn’t share to gain popularity or acceptance anyway. I shared in the hopes of helping someone else.

    1. Aaron Davis

      Yeah, it’s so important to keep things in perspective Emily Rose… Thank you for sharing your experience.

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