“Stop playing small.”
I hear this phrase often in my inner thoughts.
This phrase, “Stop playing small” recently came up in an important conversation I had regarding a tough decision I was trying to make. These three words helped me determine my answer.
Since this conversation I hear these three words often in my mind. I ask it often, not to myself but to the Lord. And I truly filter decisions through it now.
“God… am I playing small, here?”
Today my quiet time was spent in Matthew and I was struck by a little nugget I found. In a moment, a puzzle piece to my inner dialogue fell into place.
Jesus got into the boat and stared across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us!! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves and suddenly there was a great calm.” Matthew 8:23-26
Oh how many times have I read this story. I am the disciple freaking out over the “storm of my life” looking back at my calm Jesus in the back of my life boat. Asleep.
I shake him. I wake him.
“Why are you afraid, Becky? You have so little faith!”
I hear this.
And I feel shame.
“LORD! I know better! I know not to fear. I want to be like you sleeping in my storm…. a picture of TRUST and BIG FAITH. ”
But as I dug around into Matthew 8 and the words therein … look what I found.
Little faith, Strong’s #3640 oligopistos: “small” oligos and “faith” pistis. describing a faith that lacks confidence or trusts too little. Jesus used the word in various situations as a tender rebuke or corrective chiding. Another way to term it is “underdeveloped faith” as opposed to outright unbelief or distrust (apistis).
Do you see? All of my shame was good for nothing. I always read the wind and waves story as “why don’t you trust me? Why don’t you believe?! Come on.”
But really, I should hear, “Becky this is an area of growth. Your faith is underdeveloped and you have room to trust big. You are trusting small.”
“Stop playing small.”
I can handle “underdeveloped faith.” There is HOPE in this tender rebuke.
I don’t want to play small for Jesus. I don’t want to hope small, believe small, pray small, share small, live small.
I want to stand up and rebuke the waves, too.
Jesus came to model this BIG FAITH for me and then he said “GO. YOUR TURN.”
Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations….” Matthew 28:19
So. Where am I playing small? Where is my faith little? When and where do I hear the tender rebuke, “why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” pointing me to an area of growth?
These are good questions.
Are you playing small today? If so, ask the Lord to show you how to trust big. play big. believe big.
We might find ourselves in the same boat 😉
((I usually do these reflections on my Instagram story. Just feel like writing them out for a bit. I miss using this space. Good to be back today!))