A friend recently sent me a very profound comment that stopped me in my tracks. She said, “ If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life thinking it is stupid.” (Thanks Rae)

This is profound in a few ways. First, if you are the fish then you must be careful not to let others’ unreasonable expectations about you influence you negatively. How sad it is that some people have come to think less of themselves because they are not gifted or called in the way others want them to be. Like the fish that thinks it is stupid, they too become frustrated and doomed for failure.

This also reminded me that everyone knows it would be crazy for anyone to judge a fish based on its ability to climb a tree. To do so is ludicrous because we all know, fish aren’t designed to do that. And yet, isn’t that exactly what we do when we measure ourselves against others, or others against ourselves? I can’t tell you how many times I have judged myself as not making the grade because I am not as good as others at leading praise and worship, or teaching, or maybe pastoring. But thinking of myself like that is just as crazy as judging a fish by how well it can climb a tree—because I am not called or gifted in those ways.

Accept yourself for the gift you are. Do what you are passionate about—what you love to do, then you will be a success.