Living in a culture that defines us by our outward appearance and quantifiable achievements can be exhausting and demoralizing to anyone, and at some point or other, most all of us find ourselves tempted to buy into the the propaganda of self sufficiency.
Like a hamster on a treadmill, we’re so conditioned to put one foot in front of another and run headlong toward the next great thing and the next big goal, that we never question where is all this effort even leading? Is it even possible or necessary to be all the things and do all the things we want to be and do, through our own strength?
Even on those rare days that we meet all our expectations and manage to accomplish all the things, we still often experience a deep down sense that something is missing. We know that is a pace impossible to keep up every day. Our bone-deep weariness reveals it, even when our minds stubbornly insist on pushing forward anyway.
Sustainable, soul-satisfying contentment eludes us, always one step ahead and we can never seem to chase it fast enough. The insatiable, never ending desire for more or better has the potential to crush our spirit and deaden our hope for the future.
Some of us are already half crushed and deadened by the secret sense of failure to keep up but desperate to hide the overwhelming suspicion that we are not good enough and have nothing to offer.
I love when people come to this blog and tell me they are encouraged to see examples of what is possible. I love to see people happy and inspired. But He must increase, and I must decrease. (John 3:30) In other words – I want you to know, any good you may ever find in me is actually when you are recognizing Him within me. And the good news is, the same is true for you! Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world! As Christians, that’s what has always been true, and will always be true. There never was and never will be any need to keep up appearances! No need to pretend we have it all together, because the truth is when we do – we are missing the whole point 🙂 And the point is, God’s economy is one of grace, not striving. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” – Ephesians 2:8
Just think, why are we here in the first place, if not to: come to know God and make Him known to others. To seek to point others back to Him, in all that we do. For those we interact with to walk away more impressed with Him than they are with us.
The satisfaction of checking off the boxes on our to-do lists was never meant to be a replacement for the soul-satisfaction of placing our hope in Jesus. Placing our hope in anyone, anything, and especially ourselves always bitterly disappoints. The lifelong fight of the Christian faith is to believe what God has already said about us. Every day we must tell ourselves the truth we know to be true, because every day we’ll forget it and think we have to earn His favor.
If you find yourself struggling with any of this right now, will you let me know how I can pray for you and anything else I can do to come alongside you? Please hear me when I say:
You. Are. Not. Alone.
For part two of this post, Click Here next!
Blessings, Sybil! Visiting – and now following – via Peony Project and glad I did. I needed to read this today – struggling with epic fail but knowing I have to hold on in Faith. I’m stepping out in the biggest thing I’ve ever done and I feel so small standing in front of this mountain that must be moved. I’ve done all I know to do to the best of my ability. Time to trust. Trust. Trust. And, Rest.
You have encouraged me – I’ll look forward to your posts again. Hope you’ll plan to link up with me each month at The Writer’s Reverie and the All Things Bright and Beautiful Link-up – 4th Monday of the month, Sept. 29 this month.
Joy to you!
So glad to hear it, thanks so much for taking the time to share! Would love to join you for your linkup and feel free to join us each Monday for Make A Difference Mondays – open all week, every week! Thanks for visiting today – wishing you blessings and peace xoxo
Some days IT really sucks. Thank you for being an encouragement.
Yes it sure does some days 🙁 Thank you for being a presence here and please let me know if ever I can help in any way. In the meantime, sending you hugs & prayers!
Wow, thank you for writing this. Oftentimes I find myself comparing my abilities and strengths to others, and feeling either proud or insufficient. It is so tempting to see how we measure up! You are so right that grace can break us free from this. Love this post!
Thank you for your honest feedback here Daisy! So appreciate you visiting She Lives Free 🙂
This hit home! Especially when you said “There never was and never will be any need to keep up appearances!” I so needed to hear that! I am complete in Christ alone!
So very glad you found just what you needed to read here Katie! Yes, what a relief and a joy we are complete in Christ alone!
Oh, how I can relate. Perfectionism often has a grasp over me and feeds me lies that I’m not good enough. So important to remember to fight that daily. Visiting from the Influence Forums. Thanks for sharing!
Yes! Thanks for that feedback, such a good reminder for all those struggling with this! Thanks so much for visiting 🙂
Oh how I SO feel this way. I am recently (truly) learning about how my weaknesses can be used to display God’s glory. He chooses the weak things of this world…not the perfect things of this world. Thank you for sharing this on your blog! So encouraging.
Love that Becki! Thanks so much for sharing with me 🙂
Great post!!! Really really hit home. Thanks for part 1 and part 2 (probably should comment on part 2 as well lol)
You are such a blessing! Thank you Lina! 🙂
This: “The lifelong fight of the Christian faith is to believe what God has already said about us. ” So very true…Glad I found your site via Holley 🙂
This post so hits home for me! I am a people-pleaser and perfectionist by nature and it affects every part of my life! God has me on a journey. I’m not where I need to be yet, but better than I used to be.
Preach! We waste so much time and energy chasing some idealistic yet unattainable version of ourselves when what we really need to understand is that God wants to use as we are right now – a sinful yet repentant and humble hot mess! 🙂
I wrote something similar on this…I’d love for you to check it out!