Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I think that I can easily look at someone in a certain role and know that there is no way I could do what they do. My doctor or dentist for example. While I have a great deal of respect for them and could dream all day about becoming a doctor, I'm not willing to go back to school and dedicate my life to medicine the way they do. That and all the bodily fluids would...well...it would not be good.

There are other times, though that I look at a person and think I actually could do what they do. I might even wonder how a person got the position they did. Not that they aren't doing a good job but more a thought of how they got there in the first place. Do you ever wonder that?

For instance, I recently accepted a volunteer position at church. Now to be fair to myself, I do have several gifts that make me a good fit for it. But to be even more fair, there a lot of people that have similar or better gifts to do the job. So, why me?

One word has been coming to my mind over and over.


As a matter of fact, I was told last week that my willingness to be flexible, learn and grow was actually one of the qualifications most appreciated.

So, this begs the question. Should a person who is more willing but with less qualifications get the job?

Well, in the case of the doctor - certainly not.

In the kingdom of God - most definitely.

I'm reading through 2 Corinthians right now. I've been fascinated recently by Paul and his ministry.

Yesterday, while reading through it, I got to a passage in 2 Corinthians 8: 10-12 where Paul is talking to the church of Corinth about matters of money. He's talking about how they gave to each other with sincerity. Not based on what they have or didn't have but just because they wanted to help each other out. They didn't compare their gifts to one another, they just gave from their hearts.

Willing hearts.

It occurs to me that a willing heart could be better than any gift you bring to this world. Especially when it comes to doing God's work.

In 2 Corinthians 8:12 he says
For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

Just like that, God confirmed my thoughts on willingness. I love it when he does that.

Being willing is not always easy, though.

Willingness to grow means you might have to be willing to change.
Willingness to lead means you have to be willing to take responsibility.
Willingness to risk means you might have to be willing to make a mistake and be criticized.
Willingness to share your life means you will have to be willing to be vulnerable.
Willingness to serve means you will have to be willing to sacrifice time in other areas of your life.

Willingness to trust God to fill in where skill is lacked. Willingness to see all the cool stuff God does through you? Yeah, I'm totally up for that.

For more lessons learned be willing to click on over to Musings of a Housewife.

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Kristin said...

I think you have a beautiful, willing heart!

Stefani said...

Well said Janel! Many people have been blessed by your willingness, including me. Thank you for all you do!

Musings of a Housewife said...

Willingness is sorely lacking in many churches (and often in my own heart). Thanks for the reminder today!

Anita said...

Thanks Janel for lovely post to ponder on. Willingness is not always an easy gift to posses. I love when I read you blog and go away with so much more to think about.

Ali said...

The willingness to step out of our comfort zones is a big thing to overcome--great post!

jen@odbt said...

A beautiful post and wonderful lesson learned.

Terra said...

So so well said. Willingness can be very difficult...watch out for those around you who may not be willing even if you are...

Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

Interesting...I guess I always thought of willingness as a choice but you ladies have me pondering on this a bit more.

Willingness as a gift or a personality trait? That is a perspective I hadn't thought of.

I think the heart has to proceed the willingness for sure. If your heart isn't in it, then being willing is just not going to sustain you.

I was thinking about people that do jobs that some people would never do - you know, hard dirty jobs. Some people are willing because they just want to make a living where others are more willing to not have a job instead. Willingness or work ethic?

Thanks for making me think on this some more - love it!

Deb Browning said...

This is so wild! I just finished my devotion and checked your blog and my devotion was on willingness! It referred to the feeding of the 5,000 men and their families with only two small fish and five small barley loaves: "We always seem to focus on these elements of the story: Phillip's doubt, Andrew's doubt, the silence of the disciples, the breaking of the food, the basketfuls left over, etc. I think we are missing it. I think our focus should be on the boy who gave up his lunch.....Do you think he was the only person out of the entire crowd that had any food? It is hard to imagine that out of 20,000 people, only one little boy thought to bring a snack. There were others who had food I am sure, but he was the first one willing to give it up. It applies today, that God takes our seemingly worthless willingness, and He supernaturally uses it for His glory." Thanks, Janel, for your willingness to serve - we have been blessed by it.

JanMary said...

Great post, and great to raise the profile of our need for willingness :)

blackbelt said...

That was a great post. Thanks for sharing something so profound, and something I had thought about when I was a professional doing some hiring. I hired a less qualified designer because I knew she was humble, willing to learn and would stick around. The "one that got away?" The one that had the better creds actually went to a competitor. But guess whay? She quit in less than a year! whereas the one I hired is with my old firm solid as bedrock.

You gave the example of a doctor being less qualified but more willing. I know what you were trying to say so I'm not disagreeing, but embellishing on your idea. The doctor with the best credentials can have an ego to match who won't listen to the patient and think outside the box. One who is theoretically "less" qualified but is WILLING to serve and be open to exploration and finding the answer in unorthodox ways may actually save your life.

Come read my What I Learned for a total 180 on "flavor."

EE said...

Awesome post!!!

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