The Hammer vs. the Mouse

Dr. Grant MullenChurches and Leadership, I am significant, Live fearlessly, Moods, Relationships, Uncategorized 24 Comments

Are you intimidated by people who have different talents than you?

I sure am. I always think that their talents and skills are more valuable than mine. I often catch myself thinking, if only I could do that…

I had a blunt wake up call recently in a great email blog post from my friend Tim Symons in Auckland. (You can subscribe at tim.symons(at)

Through it God taught me a lesson that involved a hammer and a mouse.

The Hammer and the Mouse

Hammer or Mouse, which is it?

To live a transformed life you have to be able to recognize your own talents.

Just click on the video and I’ll tell you what happened.

Share the transformed life, send this to a friend.

Do you ever feel rejection when you are around very talented people?

They never intended it but you feel left out, inferior and insignificant.
This situation is hitting your rejection alarm button which was put there by painful past experiences.

It’s hard to live a transformed life when you have a large rejection button that keeps getting hit in the daily jostling of life.

This is such a common problem that I recorded a DVD called Overcoming Rejection. In it I explain how easily the roots of rejection get planted then show you how to break free and uproot that annoying button. We can mail the CD/DVD or you can download the video to your desktop today with no shipping charges or plastic. For more information click here.

Now I want to hear from you.

What giants have you conquered because you stayed true to your unique gifts? Just leave your answer in the comment section below.

Don’t forget to answer this week’s polling question, Which tool do you identify with?


I am now able to take a very limited number of (Skype or phone) personal coaching appointments. If you want assistance living a transformed life, just click here for more information.

Come and see us in person August 6-7 in Alliston (near Toronto), Canada, at the Freedom In Christ conference hosted by Dr. Neil Anderson. For more information click The Core of Christianity Conference.

Talk to you next week,
Grant Mullen

Comments 24

  1. Hell Dr Mullen,

    I’m not very good at running my own cheque book, even though I am a CA! My wife, Shirley, a maths wizzo is excellent at running the house budget and we have money left over for holidays!!! I have learnt not to be intimidated albeit I do struggle with it from time to time! We have come to the place where if we don’t BOTH agree on the spending, we don’t do it. She married me in NZ when I just had AUD$100 in a bank in Brisbane and NO other assets! She says she married me for the portenial! We now have 2 married children who are also prospering as well and we have ample equity. I thank God for friends (like my Shirley!) who can help us get by and rescue us from intimidation!

  2. I enjoy being with people and listening to their stories: their hard times and their good times. Mostly, people want to talk about their hard times. I seem to be good at listening and being compassionate.
    And so, I don’t get seem to get my chores done – according to my husband who is an A personality and a real “do it” kind of guy.
    I used to be so intimidated by his criticism and his ability to get so much done, however we have both come to realize how valuable my listening and compassion skills are just recently.
    His mother came to live with us four years ago and over her last three years her health deteriorated to a point that she needed a walker and then oxygen and morphine. She was very discouraged with life that she would have to suffer all the indignities that went along with that.
    I spent a lot of time with my mother in law, listening to her pain, facilitating her care and just being there for her. She passed away in our home with her family around her.
    My husband was very appreciative of the time I spent with her and of the care I gave her. I have since volunteered with the local crisis line listening to people call in on the telephone with terrible crisis in their lives. I was trained to facilitate them getting help. My heart went out to these people.
    I still don’t get a lot of chores done but I am feeling a lot more at peace with the time that I spend walking with a friend or calling someone on the phone just to hear how they are doing.
    People just want to know that they are heard and that someone cares about them.

  3. What Giants have I overcome. Fear Fear Fear…. of acceptance…. It has always been my desire to be accepted by others and I would put myself into places I should never have put myself just to prove to people that I am me and here and that I was important. Ah But God showed me that I did not have to fight or (Show off) to be accepted. But Just be who He made me to be. The more I got into His wors and the more I worshipped played music to praise God instead of looking to be praised the more I was accepted. No work on my part just used what God put in me and it happened. I was accepted for me. Dr. Grant thank you for the opportunity to allow us to express ourselves and you keep being you. God Bless you. 🙂

  4. As I child I’ve often felt that I was totally inferior to my second older brother. We share many talents but I’ve always felt like a pale copy of the “brain”in the family. I even found it hard just to talk with him. He was a seconday teacher and when he tried out a lesson on me, I simply froze. I knew the answers but I was so intimidated I just couldn’t answer any of his questions. Boy did I feel stupid.

    I’m now beginning to feel more comfortable in my own skin. He is very intelligent, has accomplished a lot. Yet I have talents that he doesn’t. God has made me to be me, not a copy of my brother.

    I know that God has a unique place in this world for me. As I used to tell my children in Junior Church and Sunday School. God has never put someone on this earth exactly like me and there will never be another person exactly like me on this earth again. My job is to listen to God’s call to me and to live my life, not to another person’s standards but to God’s standards. I know how much He loves and cherishes each of us for our own individuality

  5. Thank God that some people use hammers and others use mice and some use pens and others use words and some use prayer. I have not always found it easy to accept my uniqueness but other day I just live in gratitude that God made me different
    Keep up the good word Grant

  6. I could so identify with those feelings. I have never wanted to know about building stuff or working on cars. I have no interest. Yet whenever I’m around guys who are really into that, I feel like a fish out of water and yes, insecure. I have this notion that I should be like them when I’m with them buit really don’t care after they leave. Thanks for posting this.

  7. This is an interesting subject. It took me a long time to be comfortable about myself. I was very intimidated by other people and found it hard to communicate with them. But now after a long time of healing from deep wounds and dealing with the root of shame. I now have friends who I would never would have associated with, scientists etc. and friends who encourage and compliment me. I now love being an instrument of healing to others who are deeply wounded as well as doing practical stuff like fixing cars or handyman stuff to help others. Discovering our spiritual gifts and learning what to do with them helps us to view ourself in a healthy way. I would think of my self as a screwdriver – undoing lids and covers that people are buried under so they can be free to be them self.

  8. All gone. I saw a man dying beside the road. in hot Lebenon long ago.
    He was touching death as the flies coursed on his eyes.
    Now careless ‘in rags in the mud of mid day heat after 2 days of rain; a centurian tossed a coin toward his face . Nothing left.

    I was at the place of things gone wrong, rejection had emptid me.weakness enfolded me,the crack of a whip snapped in the darkness of my lonely room; long ago.

    Then i saw a man come off the road and in a clean robe ; kneel down and slide his hand through the mud beneath the dying lepers’ neck and kneeling ; He reached around his waste and lifted up this foul smelling barely living soul up.
    Up; out of the mir of death.He held him to his heart
    And He took his place in death.

    I tried to be good,prayed every day. I became a fool and lost it all.
    I was a monster in ways, hurting the ones I loved and tossing them away.

    But he found me; in the nightmare of my isolation.
    I had good abilities; but they changed nothing. I still went into hell.
    Now; I see Him there.The lamb of God ; who went out of his way to save me.
    And I weep for gratitude.
    My abilities really belong to him; He said once, “letting your possibilities evince”
    Once a poet; a good one.I didn’t even know what evince meant.
    But really I do. Now.
    even as I learn to let His heart bear the test. There are no words that suffice for me to speak of the wonders of His love for you and I.

    Thank you Grant. Thank you Jesus;that your arm is not short.

  9. For women, it’s not really a mouse vs. hammer issue. It’s more of a spatula vs. couldn’t care less how well my souffle turns out! Women who are a whiz in the kitchen can be intimidating to those of us who are not. I had a mom who was wonderful but regularly served us “burnt offerings” as our meals. So there were no cooking lessons in our home. She taught us to sacrifice and work hard, but cooking, nope.

  10. HI hello hello
    My giants have been Organisations such as Anglican Church,who deceived,robbed and tried to destroy my work for teh Lord but have now forgiven’s taken 10 years… ..friends…who else??? Yes I do often doubt the great gifts God has given me because people have tried to crush them or treat them as insignificant since they cannot relate..So I’m less motivated to venture out as much as I once did….not as confident as I was in teh past and more fatigued. In fact I often wonder if it’s worth all teh keep fending the giants on my course…well you did ask for my comment..Bless you and thanks for video..very good indeed. Denise

  11. Hi

    I’ve recently recovered from depression. Grant, your book “Why Do I Feel So Down When My Faith Should Lift me Up?” was of great help. I followed your advice of the three-pronged attack of medication, counselling and prayer after the Lord had enabled me to see lack of self-love also as a root-cause of depression through the book, “Love Yourself” by Walter Trobisch. During the Easter Week, the Lord brought the healing process spanned over 3 months to its logical conclusion by dramitically touching me: I had something like electric impulses going back & forth in my head intermitantly for a couple of days! Fearing a massive relapse, I prayed the second night. I felt the Lord say to me that since depression is a condition of the brain, He was healing me. when I woke up the following morning, I found myself feeling as if I were back in my teenage years! (I’m a 45-year-old single man now).

    My giants are lack of self-love & loneliness . I still struggle with these which give me low period from time to time. Maintaining the healing is the real issue at the moment.

    Any help, please?

  12. Hi Jonathan. That’s an incredible story of recovery from depression. My book that helped you is now titled Emotionally Free and is still available on this web site. The best way to maintain the healing and help the self love/loneliness issues is to be in regular contact with a Christian counsellor. They can walk you through the healing journey.

  13. Hmmm, I used to feel insignificant because I was shy and not really good at making friends. I didn’t have that social flair and competence that many people seemed to have. I have learned as a teen and an adult to first accept the gifts I have (artistic and academic talent) ant trough Christ understand that I’m not weird or unacceptable but unique person who has a lot to offer, and if I’m not always socially competent I still have a God who protects me. Understanding that makes me less shy.

  14. I am totally in agreement with using the talents that God has blessed me with. However, I suppose one talent that He gave me is TRY TRY TRY and TRY again to develope NEW ONES ! If having tried and failed, tried and failed, and tried and failed, I then realize its not for me……….BUT, at least I tried and realized it was not for me…….Many times, however, if I don’t have a particular talent that I would like to have that I see in others…..I have tried and succeeded…..sometimes came out on top as far as performing or doing it better than the ones who have it. Yes, indeed, I believe and know God has given us certain talents that are ours alone, but, I also know He has given me the power to develope ones that I do not possess. “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.”……………..Perhaps this is a “talent” as well !
    Judy Dodson

  15. I don’t know if this has anything to do with your topic, but I enjoy reading your emails and listening to your video clips, and just wanted to write to you. Cheryl and I have an acreage. We are currently getting out of pigs and I am on my second year apprenticing plumbing. I am good at fixing things, not so good at charging money for it. My wife does the accounting and she is amazing. I am 42 and it’s a bit scarry changing occupations now, and its scarry not knowing what will happen with the acreage after the pigs are all gone!? I tell everyone who asks, “God looked after us this far He won’t stop now.” Sometimes easier said than lived though, (need more faith!). Heh, thanks for listening and God Bless you and your family! One more thought just came to mind, two years have gone by since my burnout doing sound at our church (one of your seminars helped me to see what had happened to me), over the past year I’ve restricted my sound duty to once a month with the youth band, now another group has asked for help and I think I can and need to do this. I asked Cheryl she said I should too. I am cautiously excited again to do sound for this group. I have fallen away from the church to a certain degree because I am not involved. I know I need to be careful with my commitments, so as not to burnout again. Thankyou again!

  16. Hi Claire. It’s important to stay connected to the church even in burnout. We need each other. God’s Kingdom is designed for us to be interdependent. We need each other’s gifts, including yours. Don’t isolate yourself, it will slow your recovery.

  17. Dear Dr. Grant Mullen,

    That is great. I have actually been reading up on a book titled, The Gift in You, by Dr. Caroline Leaf, that talks about our unique gifts. According to Dr. Leaf, each gift plays a dominant or non-dominant role in who we are and that to reach our truth-value we must excercise our gifts to become who God inteded us to be. It is a practical & helpful book. This corresponds with what you are saying in this message. I needed to hear that confirmation from you and the illustration of David as well. It is great when we see God working, isn’t it?

    Have a great day!

  18. Intimidated – for the majority of my life, in many areas, and intimidating to others, but I didn’t realize it. My sister and mother couldn’t understand how I picked up on things so quickly at different jobs, when I was going to many different positions in organizations/business through a temp service, until I found a permanent job. When they mentioned it – I thought “what do you mean?” I was intimidated by their ability to stick things out at get things completed. God showed me His Spiritual gift through that at the same time. Patience, Love, Kindness…etc. and embracing the gifts of others instead of being jealous of them – which was more like it, for me anyhow. Now I use my talents, – which I know I couldn’t do without God’s hand in my life to help others -which brings me so much joy – when I don’t use my gift or allow other people to use theirs it just isn’t the same. I work a lot of volunteer hours and you really see Gods blessings upon all of us.

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