Breaking the Hard Shell
Conquer Oneself - Conquer Internal Barriers (1)
Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds -John 12:24
We are on the journey to Grow to Our Fullest. So far we finished one of the four steps, step one, Find Your Signature Vision. Now you know what you want accomplish and where you want to go from where you are now. And you are on the journey to your fullest. On your journey, you will face two types of barriers: internal and external ones. The internal barrier is from one’s self. As the saying goes, “You are your own worst enemy. So the second step to grow to your fullest is to conquer yourself. You, like a seed, have a hard shell. Life sleeps in it; your potential is dormant. The seed has to break out of its shell for a new life to sprout. Every seed has a shell called a coat containing an embryo inside that is to become a plant. The coat protects the embryo from the entry of parasites. To release the embryo inside and grow to be a new plant, a seed has to be sown in soil with the right moisture. After a certain amount of time, the seed sprouts into a tender plant by breaking out of its coat. For the seed, it is a dying process because the breaking of a coat actually makes the seed disappear.
A shell first protects its new life before it’s fully formed; otherwise, the life will be killed before it begins. An eggshell protects a baby chick that sleeps inside; a mother’s womb protects a fetus. But the shell is also the very first obstacle to new life. To release the sleeping new life, the seed has to break out its shell first before the life in it sprouts out. Without brokenness, a new life will be sleeping within the shell for a long time and eventually die.
The shell is the very first obstacle to break in order to grow out a new life. Phenomenally it tells us a truth: it takes self brokenness to grow to our full. This is a hard message, but it’s a road unavoidable. Jesus said it seriously, Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds (John 12:24)
The process of self-brokenness is not pleasant at all instead it’s full of pains and risks. It requires courage, determination and perseverance. However it’s a process of indispensable. Without it, you will always remain as a seed until it gets rotten.
What is our life’s shell that stops us to grow? They are usually the sins deep in the center of our heart. There are three types of shell to break: first, our ego: selfishness, controlling and lust for possession; second, conceit, jealousy, fear and insecurity; third, complacency, procrastination, and excuses. . You must peel the three layers of the shell one by one before you can fully sprout and grow in the outside world.
History tells many Empires fall after a time of period prosperity like Yuan Dynasty in china, Egypt, Roman Empire and English, etc. One of the most famous kings in history is King Solomon, he is the most glorious and wisest king in history, but his empire also fell after over forty years. When I am thinking about these kings, I couldn’t help ask why the good times were gone and why they could not continue their prosperity. The history repeats itself. One rises at a time and falls at another time. The core driving force of any fall is from internal corruption. Solomon said in his proverbs, pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall （Proverb16：18）,
In the opposite any rise comes from humility or self-consciousness. Jim Collins, author of the book, Good to Great, Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't, did many researches by comparing the companies that fall with the companies that go from good to great. And the result shows that the companies fall because their leaders have strong ego, but the companies rise because their leaders have great integrity, and they are very humble and have a spirit and the courage to confront self ego and conquer it.
To grow to your fullest, you have to conquer your own internal barriers: break your hard shell to launch the new life within you. Since today, I will share with you some recipes about how to conquer personal barriers in a series of blog, Conquer Your Internal barriers so you may grow to your fullest by wining oneself first.
In the next post, I will discuss ego problems and how to conquer them in our journey to grow to our fullest!
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May you grow to your fullest!
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