Eight things I am not

1) A Good Communicator

Sometimes people call me the salesman, someone who can speak. Well, I think I am a decent orator. I do fine with prepared speeches, with scripting and enough practice I can confidently stand in front and speak.

But I am not good at communicating my thoughts. Take away the opportunity to pour over my choice of words and I fumble all the way. Writing is easier, for I can reread and rewrite before publishing. I find that my words are often misunderstood as I have failed to explain well.

2) Intelligent

At least, not as highly as I try to think of myself sometimes.

Sure I do relatively well academically and all, but there are many who can do better. Grades reflect only the ability to digest knowledge and regurgitate. In real life situations, I often find myself being quite silly.

3) Efficient

Ah to be efficient. I try, I try. Efficiency is important so that we do not waste time. However, I am often ill-disciplined and as a result highly inefficient in getting the important things done. Mainly my things get done because I refrain from taking on too many things in the first place. I have no idea how some people can pile on more, they have my greatest respect, but I know that I cannot and so I do not.

In hectic periods, I get stressed easily. It affects how I treat others. I need alone time. Clearly I don't handle it well.

4) Creative

For a leader of a creative team, I am highly uncreative. I lack ideas and innovation. I suspect I was given the role more for my organisation, which is often ironically contrasted to the messiness of wonderful creativity. I rely more on my members to do the things that I often cannot do. I do my best given my responsibilities, but it does often feel that someone else would have been more suitable.

5) A Doer

Knowledge does not necessarily translate to action. Perhaps this is related to the point of intelligence, where I enjoy learning new facts but these accumulated knowledge remain a separate domain from living out my life. I know theories, but they remain as concepts and are not executed in daily living.

6) A Relational Person

I am not good with relationships. When I am able to empathise with someone, it is often because they are things I have experienced in my own life. Otherwise, I find myself apathetic towards many things around me, too focused on the self.

Many times, I do things because I believe that I should. I have strong mental convictions that certain things are important and that fuels my actions, but I don't feel for it. This heart often feels cold towards anything that does not have to do with me.

Far too often, I hurt. I neglect. I tear down.

7) A Good Leader

Like mentioned in the point on creativity, I can organise. A good organiser often makes a good manager, but it is not enough to make a good leader.

A good manager can deal with tasks, but a good leader inspires.
A good manager can execute what is expected of him, but a good leader casts the vision.
A good manager can get those he oversees to do their work, but a good leader ignites a passion in them for the work.
A good manager can manage people, but a good leader understand the people.

Sometimes I look at the positions and responsibilities I carry, and I wonder how do I fare. Not as well as I would like. There are others who seem to be more suited for these roles and would do a better job than I can.

8) A Good Christian

Definitely not. In so many ways. Struggles. Faith. Passion. Emotions. Works. Relationships. Everything. I am so far from the perfection of Jesus, so far from the perfect Christian.

But then, I realise. Of course I am not good.

Only God is good.

I am not a good Christian. I am not a good leader. I am not one who handles relationships well. I am not enough of a doer. I am not a creative person. I am not efficient. I am not as intelligent as I imagine myself to be. I am not a good communicator.

But wait, of course I am not.

I am a sinner for goodness sake, saved by grace because I was so helpless. Needing God each day precisely because of all the things I am not.

I am not but I know I AM.

And perhaps it is a good thing that I am not, If I try to climb on my weak pile of personal strengths, it is worthless, it amounts to nothing. These things that I can do well in my life, they are not worth much.

But all these things that I am not, I know my strength will fail me. I know I cannot do it on my own, for it is beyond me.

But I am not supposed to be doing it on my own. That's the point. That for every single thing that I am not, I would learn to trust and depend on I AM.


Over the past months, my pride has taken hits, exposing all the things that I am not. These eight things are all things that I have at some point or another thought that I am. But over time, through the experiences I go through, I have come to realise just how wrong each of these perceptions are. I have tended to see myself too highly when I am in reality nothing.

I had wrote this out on point form some time ago, after having experienced a series of things which made me ponder about how I see myself. It was for a moment discouraging. To find myself not as talented as I liked to think of myself, but rather a human being with so many flaws and failures.

But that's the beauty of it. Even though I am not, God is.

It's a strange position to be in nowadays. On one hand, there are moments my pride still creeps up and I start to think myself better than others. On the other hand, in some other moments, I feel the crushing weight of all the things I am not.

This week has been somewhat like this. I had forgetten about this little document stowed away on my desktop. In my pride I thought myself to be better than others, only to quickly be brought to realise how wrong that was.

Today I must have demonstrated to myself how I am not in all eight areas. All eight of them, wow.

A greater dose of humility. Brokenness.


Yes. It is true, I am not. And that is alright.