Dear Gifted Girl,
I hear this word more often than I think I should. I am sure you hear it once or twice…a month.
intimidate (v.) to make timid or fearful: FRIGHTEN; especially; to compel or deter by or as if by threats
synonyms — bully, pick on, strong-arm (merriam-webster.com)
“You intimidate people.”
“You know, a man won’t approach you because you’re intimidating. I mean, look at how much you’ve accomplished.”
“Well, you don’t know what it’s like to hear your accomplishments, to watch God work through you. It’s intimidating.”
I could go on, but you understand. I know you do. Intimidation is the common accusation against the Gifted Girl. It is annoying. My first knee-jerk response is, “That’s not my problem!” Upon reflection though, it kind of is…our problem. Friend, family, or foe, we cannot compete with personal perception — theirs, yours, mine (sometimes). This letter is to encourage Gifted Girls — and, arm us — with a true picture of intimidation.
What is intimidation, then?
SAUL, when he knew the Lord was with David, Saul was even more afraid of David, and was David’s enemy continually (1 Samuel 18:28-29). SHEMAIAH was hired by Tobiah and Sanballat to threaten Nehemiah with death that very night, and Nehemiah knew the death threat was an attempt to make Nehemiah afraid so Nehemiah would leave the work and be taunted (Nehemiah 6:10-14).
Intimidation is to make others timid, fearful or frightened of us. Intimidation is to get what we want from others by threats. Saul was a bully. Sanballat and Tobiah picked on and tried to strong-arm Nehemiah. My dear Gifted Girls, we are not this — threats, bullying, and fear tactics. People choose fear and push us away rather than embrace the potential of collaboration when we join our super powers.
I include this picture of huge elephants because they are an example of intimidation. What if we were there when the Gillian took the picture? YIKES. With the exception of some of you thrill seekers, the rest of us understand the intimidation factor. Understanding though, does not mean we bear the burden of how people come to view us without our input. We are not living roughshod over others like a herd (or is it a pack?) of elephants. Many of us are so focused that we are our own company for several seasons.
GIFTED GIRLS, do not second guess or devalue or demote the work of the Holy Spirit in your life! Do not diffuse it or dilute it. Do not shroud the light of God through your eyes, and life, and obedient efforts.
Growing in the Lord is what all Christians do. We all have the same time and chance (Ecclesiastes 9:11); the odds are not stacked against us IN GOD. Hats off to you for active faith and pursuit of God! I celebrate you, and who you are becoming as Holy Spirit transforms heart, vision, and life! I honor each of your five talents, and pray God’s grace, peace, and strength as you turn them into ten talents!
Will people ever stop blaming us for their fear of us? ONLY THE LORD KNOWS. Whether people cease or continue to claim intimidation, I want us to stand firm in identity. Let us not be shaped by external perception (the internal battles are enough!). Instead, let us remain consistent in our pursuit of God, and be grace-full when people realize we are not who they thought or believed us to be. Amen? Okay then, carry on and reign well.
Selah, and love to all.