I’m still looking for the right words to describe myself when people want to get to know me better. I’m doing this for the benefit of such readers as those who think they are not tough enough, or strong enough to be an online business owner. Let’s just look at some characteristics that might make it appear you are incapable, but which have actually built strong positive traits into the very fiber of your being.
I have often been referred to, or called Faithful. If I’ve been given a responsibility I stay at it, even after the novelty and fun of that work has worn off. From Mom’s example and lectures I learned long ago, that if I start something, or if I make a promise I need to stay with it until it is done, and I am to do it with all my might. If I should have to break my neck in trying to keep a promise - so be it!
As you can imagine, I’ve learned to hesitate to make any promise unless I’m willing to accept that risk to my neck.
It would be a little complicated to explain, and I don’t want to put others down, but there have been times when people wanted to give one of my “jobs” to someone else, and I didn’t take very kindly to that.
Even when God wanted me to move back home to care for my parents, I was loath to quit my one paying job and a bunch of volunteer positions in the church. I had to pray about it for two years before I was willing to say God had a change in mind for me and I would have to resign from those positions.
Some promises have cost me a lot of my own personal time, that I really was intending to give to something else, but a promise is a promise, and I don’t know any other way around it but to keep that promise before I move on.
Being sensitive in spirit and easily moved to tears is rather embarrassing. Or, it was in my earlier years. It seemed that my only safe place was to work with children and to stay away from adults who might say something to make me cry.
I usually read novels in private for the same reason. If anything bad happened to my favourite characters I was soon weeping for them. However, gradually, as I’ve grown up more and taken on more and more adult responsibilities, I’ve come to see that being so easily emotional, or tender of heart, is a good thing. It means I’m more sensitive and understanding when I meet others who have serious problems. If a friend is sad or grieving, it is really appreciated if I cry with them.
This seems to be an inherited trait. I’ve observed that Dad would easily get choked up when talking about spiritual things. That was his tender spot. His sister, my Aunt Helena, was like that too. Even just talking about her family members would get her choked up and her voice would change so that I knew tears were welling up.
I’ve spotted other relatives, mostly on Dad’s side of the family, who are like that. Some have learned to put on a crust over their emotions, so that this tenderhearted side doesn't show up so easily. I guess they are embarrassed about it.
However, I’ve come to appreciate and accept that this is a good trait to have. I would rather be compassionate and tenderhearted towards those in need, and easily aware of the leading of the Holy Spirit of God, than to be hardhearted and tough-skinned. So now, if someone sees me tear-up or wipe away a tear - I let them look away. That’s their problem. I don’t like to use tears to manipulate people, but if and when they come - I let ’em! As long as I have a clear conscience, I don’t need to be ashamed of my tears.
(Incidentally, I have an article about being Tenderhearted on my novel’s site.)
This trait would seem to be closely related to being responsible. However, a person can be responsible and brooding with bitterness in their heart because they feel others have it easier, or because they are convinced someone else has placed responsibilities on them that they really didn’t want or ask for.
A wholehearted person, on the other hand, takes on responsibilities willingly, cheerfully. They do not complain about their work. They choose it!
Do you know the story of Rebecca in the Bible? Now she was wholehearted! At least when she was young; (later on she was rather deceptive and I don’t want to emulate her in that). I’m talking about when Abraham sent his chief servant to go back to his former homeland, and look for a bride for Isaac among their relatives.
That servant must have been a wise and godly man, for when he reached that area and stopped at a well, he prayed and asked God for a sign as to which girl should be Isaac’s wife. He asked that she offer to give him a drink of water, and also his camels. That’s what Rebecca did! She cheerfully obliged the man with a drink of water, and then offered to water his camels also. (We don’t know how many he had in his traveling group, but we know that camels can guzzle a lot of water, right?)
So when I am inclined to do more than was asked of me, and someone wonders why I would do that, I just say blithely, “Oh, I just decided to water your camels too.”
This talking about character traits is fun, but I think I’ll make loyalty the last one in this series of articles.
If I find out that you and I are related, I will be staunchly loyal to you. (Okay, if you did something terribly wicked and showed no sign of repentance, I might avoid you but I doubt I would disown you as a relative.) If we have become friends, I will continue to think of you from time to time, and when I get around to sending letters (less often now), I will write to you even if you have not written to me in ages.
I don’t like to run after people and nag them back into a relationship. I make new friends easily enough so I don’t have to waste time to run after and twist arms of those who want to be rid of me. However, my heart is always open to let you back in!
As I did in the previous article, let me ask you this question; what do you think? Would a faithful, tenderhearted, wholehearted, and loyal woman make good traits for a business woman?
Yes, for sure!
Do you have any hint of these traits in your life? If you think they are not very strong, do you think you could make some decisions that would strengthen them?
Take time to think and pray about this, and then with Jesus’ help decide to be faithful, tenderhearted, and loyal in your current situations of life. If you see a place where you could water someone’s camels too - go for it! You are going to be surprised at how much you enjoy that, and those who are aware you are doing this will also be pleasantly surprised!
If you are keen to go into an online business, let me assure you that you will do better if you develop these traits. Don’t worry about not inheriting them. You can develop these traits if you put your mind to it.
To go back to see the first three traits go here: Resourceful, Responsible, and Rejoicing Ruth.
Ruth Marlene Friesen
The Responsible One