It’s not a secret that our culture loves a platform. We try to get followers on Instagram, views on Snapchat, and spend hours of our time trying to get the perfect pictures. We’ve built a culture that demands so much time, energy, and striving, that most of us (me included) don’t know how to just stop and be.
I really struggle with striving. I love to be busy. I’m honestly addicted to multitasking and accomplishment and work. If I’m not working at my job, going to school, doing homework, or blogging; it’s difficult for me to feel enough. I’m not here to tell you that I have figured out a magic formula to stop trying so dang hard to be everything for everybody, because I’m still learning. I definitely don’t have it all together. But I’ll tell you what Jesus has been showing me.
In her book Nothing to Prove, Jennie Allen says:
“The lie is this: if it isn’t big, it doesn’t matter. Then because we believe it, we make influence the goal rather than loving God and people with all of our gifts and life. If you make influence your goal, your heart will become consumed with what the world thinks…your soul will get so sick because it will never be satisfied, and rather than give God away through your gifts, you will USE Him to get somewhere.”
Ouch. If we were honest with ourselves, I think a lot of us struggle with this trap designed by the Enemy to keep us wasting our time. We practice Celebrity Christianity by posting a picture of our devotional instead of opening our Bibles. We spend time editing our pictures instead of praying for the people we love. We feel worthless if we lose a follower on Instagram.
These issues are not new: the Israelites also struggled with finding their worth in the wrong things.
Jeremiah 2:13 “For My people have done two sinful things: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
This verse shows that the Israelites forgot Jesus and replaced their need for Him with other things. How often do we forget how good and wonderful Jesus is, and replace our need for him with things like attention, approval, popularity, or followers? My guess is a LOT.
When I’m struggling with striving, I try to remember this verse:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do NOTHING.” John 15:5
All of our striving may feel good in the moment, but it’s not satisfying. Only Jesus can ever be enough. He alone can give us life, and leave us feeling fulfilled. As you go into this week, I’m praying that you find worth in Him and rest in His presence. I’m so thankful that we don’t have to prove ourselves to Jesus-He knows about all of our messy imperfections and loves us anyway!