“The man who does not like self-examination may be pretty certain that things need examining.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
God-awareness leads to self-awareness. One of the benefits from seeing a life coach is self-discovery. I rarely take time to figure out how God made me, or what makes me tick. Usually I uncover these discoveries by running smack into them, which isn’t pleasant.
On a recent session with my life coach, we mined the treasures of my drainers and gainers and how my awareness of them leads to greater freedom. Drainers are those things which suck the life out of me; they take away, deplete, and stress me. Gainers, on the other hand, give back and replenish me. Psalm 119:59 says, “I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.” A little self-reflection aids our obedience to the Lord.
I discovered four general areas that drain me. My thoughts/fear of failure, not being able to meet others’ expectations, or to do what I said I would do, are major stresses. (I’m sure that’s connected to my number one strength of responsibility.) I don’t do well if my environment is disorganized and chaos reigns. Relationally, who I choose to spend time with, could be either a drainer or a gainer. Not eating well and a lack of exercise or sleep, are physical drainers.
Some of my gainers surprised me. I’m more of an introvert than I realize. My replenishment comes from: sitting still and hearing God’s voice, reading, writing, solitude/quiet, and having space. Relationally/physically, I enjoy having coffee with a girlfriend, go cycling with John, and out to movies. I gain peace with an orderly house. The most significant aha came when I realized the confirmation of God gives me the greatest enjoyment in life. I love to watch Him move as I obey Him in ministry/mentoring and experience evidence of His goodness.
The key to utilizing our individual drainers and gainers to our advantage, is to limit the drainers and be intentional in having our gainers be a priority in our daily schedule. When we begin to get stressed, we need to pause and look at what is draining us and see how to refuel ourselves through our gainers. Figuring out how God has made us, leads to freedom.
“It is a great grace of God to practice self-examination; but too much is as bad as too little.”
St. Teresa of Avila
What are the drainers/gainers in your life and how can you use this knowledge to your advantage?