A few months ago, I attended one of my favorite galas. It felt good finally to get dressed up and have a good time… with Covid safety style, of course. At the end of the gala’s formal program, we had time to fellowship and dance. While mingling, my friend, the gala’s visionary, came around to chat and to give her regards.

She paused and said, “Let’s take a picture.” I am almost six-feet tall and she is about five-feet three-inches tall.  I started to bend down to get closer to her height “to even out the picture.”  Immediately, she turned towards me and said, “Uh uhm. Don’t bend down.”  I started to explain, but she said again, “Don’t bend down. We will just angle the picture this way to get all of you and me.” She was and is an excellent friend and would not allow me to fold away part of myself in an effort to fit in the picture. She understands and accepts that my height is one of my unique characteristics.

Afterwards, of course, immediately, my mind began to process this “Don’t Bend Down Lesson.”

In life, we will encounter people or situations that, for whatever reason, force our inner fears to the forefront. We allow these fears to subvert our God-given talents and our God-given brilliance. When that happens, we begin to “bend down.”  We accept the erroneous mindset that speaking up or standing out might make us look awkward, or it might bring unwanted attention to ourselves. Unfortunately, we begin to think, “What if I sound funny? What if I look funny?”

Why do we do that? Why not think, “What about when I sound smart or offer the expertise that is needed at this moment?”

This month, I am here to tell you that there is no need to bend down. God designed you and me to stand out and to shine as His child. We are to share our great ideas, our intelligences, our gifts, and our talents with the world. That is why we have them. These attributes are part of the package of who we are. Sure, some may not appreciate what we have to offer, that truly does not matter. What matters, as my friend pointed out, is that there are those who appreciate and accept who we are and what we have to offer. Most importantly, when we see ourselves about to bend down, we must remind ourselves that all of who we are matters.

Stand Confident in who you are.

Stay confident in the gifts and talents you possess.