I want to be great.
I don’t want greatness for the sake of greatness though. While it’s incredible to achieve something important or worthwhile, that’s not what I seek. My search is for the approval of others and my God.
I assume being great will result in others and God giving me approval. I hope this approval will give me the affirmation my heart desires. With this affirmation, I hope to defeat the insecurities which plague me.
One of the problems with this plan is it’s lack of previous success. I have been following this game plan for quite some time and insecurity still haunts me. The amount of approval and affirmation I have seems to be never enough.
I’ve fallen asleep many nights thinking about how my search seems like it will never end. My head has come to realize no amount of greatness, approval, and affirmation will ever be enough. My heart struggles to accept this truth.
God helped my heart with this struggle a couple weeks ago. I went again to Montana to enjoy some of the incredible scenery and fishing. The trip and the people on it didn’t disappoint.
God also moved in my heart while I was on the trip and pointed something out to me. I was sitting in the boat and my thoughts were wandering when I realized I won’t be perfect when I die. This seem like obvious truth and yet it surprised my heart.
I have this assumption way down in my heart that God loves me because of my potential. Instead of believing God has an unconditional and present love for me, I assume his love is based on who I will become or what I will do.
This assumption fails the test of Scripture; even Scriptures I have memorized like Romans 5:8 and Ephesians 2:8-9. I still hold onto the assumptions because deep down I prefer conditional love. With this kind of love, I can earn more of it and feel better about myself.
There is even the hope of earning enough of it to silence all of my insecurities.
As the bard says, herein lies the problem. Why would I want to earn enough love to defeat insecurity when I have an infinite source of love in God? The answer is control.
Insecurity and all the doubts and fears which come with it make me feel powerless. Earning approval to get affirmation and love make me feel in control. Trusting God on the other hand does not make me feel in control.
He’s an all powerful creator who I can’t see or touch. I have to let go of my control in order to have a genuine trust in God. It’s kind of like being a backseat driver.
It’s not trust when you criticize the style of someone’s driving. It’s also not trust when you reach over and try to take the wheel from them. Both of those are good pictures of my relationship with God.
I will do things, like going through Regen, which have the appearance of trusting God. I’ll jump in the back seat, let him drive, and then start doubting his route decisions or ability to drive.
Letting him drive and then doubting his decisions is my way of trusting God while holding onto the control. This never ends the way I want it to. I spend many of my days worn out because I’m trying to run towards both trust and control at the same time.
I’ve tried to convince myself that greatness is the answer to this problem. Maybe if I’m great enough I won’t have to work hard to have the control I want. This is a lie though.
No one can serve two masters: Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. Matthew 6:24a
Jesus makes it clear that serving two masters doesn’t go well. I can’t serve myself and God at the same time. It will wear me out and rob me of any benefits from either.
The one way forward is to let go of my control and offer God a genuine trust. He doesn’t force me to do this. He’s patient with me and will help me take this effort step by step.
His love is something which continues to surprise me. He cares about a son whose obsessed with making himself great. He’s happy to spend time with a child who runs from him all of the time.
How cool is that?
Do you struggle with a desire for control? How does it manifest itself in your life? Do you seek conditional love instead of the unconditional love God offers?
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