People say I'm hard on myself.
I suppose it's true. The race I talked about last week was just a taste of how I struggle being satisfied with anything I've done. In my eyes, most everything I do is never quite good enough. If there's anybody who's ever done it better, then I think my efforts worthless.
I suppose there's nothing wrong with understanding who you are (and aren't), but it means I don't celebrate much. There's no satisfaction in reaching a goal, only a nagging thought that someone else could do it better. And while there's a benefit to continually wanting to improve yourself, it can get old to feel like you'll never arrive. So when the issue came up again at the race, I had to ask myself.
What is the matter with me?! Why can't I be happy with anything I do?
I've been reading The Search For Significance by Robert S. McGee and finding some disturbing insight. McGee says most Christians mistakenly define their self worth this way:
Self Worth = Performance + Others' Opinions
I'm probably guilty of that, but here's the quote that really smacked me upside the head.
Our behavior is often a reflection of our beliefs about who we are . . . if we base our worth on our abilities or the fickle approval of others, then our behavior will reflect the insecurity, fear, and anger that comes from such instability.
Why was the race so hard for me? I was one of the last to finish. I didn't feel my "performance" would be deemed respectable in the eyes of others. Why was I angry? I was doing my best and it wasn't good enough.
No wonder I'm frustrated so often. I'm looking for significance from an unstable, ever-changing source through people with differing opinions. My lack of satisfaction comes from trying to find my self worth apart from God.
Now to show good faith that I'm working on this, I must tell you that McGee also says this is a problem for all of humanity (not just me) ever since the Fall of man. When Adam and Eve took that fateful bite, our security and significance in God alone took a big hit. We will all struggle with this. Please tell me I'm not alone!
What is the antidote? How can we find our worth in Him alone?
We must learn what is TRUE. Only when we correct our faulty vision through the lens of His Word, will we gain right thinking and find our meaning. We will never be good enough. That's why we needed Jesus in the first place. And once we have Him, we don't have to be or do anything to prove ourselves. We may actually find it easier to live a life pleasing to Him because of the Holy Spirit within, guiding our every step.
God doesn't want us living defeated lives. His word speaks of victory and praise. I want to know triumphant living. I want to be free from performing and trying to prove my worth to others. I want to feel happy about something I've finished. I want to feel satisfaction and joy at a job well done.
I want to find my significance in God alone.
Photo Credit: eschipul