More from the horse camp...
I am participating in this scary, pick-a-topic-and-write-every-day-for-31-days project. We have a private Facebook page, and the subject came up about perhaps our post or blog goes viral. A conversation ensued about competition.
Oh...it's that idol of approval/affirmation raising its ugly head. I did not plan to write about this today, but since it is out there now...here goes.
There is a line in the movie, Luther, where Martin Luther's spiritual father says to him:
We teach best what we need to learn most.
I've never forgotten that line. You see, I'm not an expert on the topic I chose; I need to integrate it more into my life. It is an area that God has been speaking to me about the past couple of months, and I have far from overcome. This is not about competition, but a tool for my own accountability. If God chooses to use it beyond that...I will be humbled...and honored.
So...what about this idol of the approval of or affirmation from others?
Brene' Brown, one of my favorite social workers has spent twenty years doing research on guilt and shame, writes in her book The Gifts of Imperfection...
How many of us have done the hustle for worthiness?? :::raising my hand::: I tend to do it more subtly than others (or maybe I'm fooling myself) but I do it. I compete for "likes" on Facebook or comments on my blog or Flickr with regard to my images. I sometimes have felt it in the church... either with those I've known for a long time or with new friends. At times the dance for worthiness in church alone can strangely begin to feel like all of us insecures (and all of us were!) in high school.
When we can let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness—the feeling that we are enough just as we are and that we are worthy of love and belonging. When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don’t fit with who we think we’re supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving.
You may need to sit down before I disclose this...with all vulnerability exposed. My walk with the Lord has not been linear. It's had fits and starts...I've known divorce...my son is severely disabled...my daughter has her struggles...and my story is littered with sin and failure...but also shines of redemption and restoration.
During my quiet time, I came across my story in Ephesians 2. My true story. The story I want to live in and own. Want to hear it? It might be yours, too!
This story fits me. But without renewing my mind with it regularly...I'll fall into pursuit of that approval/affirmation idol...and out come my dancing shoes for me to do that worthiness hustle. Such a waste of energy, not to mention all the damage it does to my relationships in the wake.