I think America has it flip-flopped.
Abrupt, I know, but I’m diving right in for this one!
One of my most defining characteristics is my independent nature. For years I have accepted compliments concerning my self-sufficient core, and I used that knowledge of myself as a huge part of my foundation. This is not only one of my defining characteristics, but it’s one of America’s as well.
As I’ve been studying this week, I’ve realized that this trait, this ideal, actually does the opposite of what we think it will do. This self-sufficient, independent, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps attitude is suffocating America, and more specifically, the Church.
When Christians become so focused on being examples, so afraid of slipping up, our sights shift from pursuing the Lord to survival mode. Suddenly, we are no longer being continually filled with the Lord’s grace and power, and instead we’re running on battery energy. When we do things on our own, we’re actually doing less than we are empowered to do. Battery energy is great, and obviously we can’t spend every second of the day “plugged-in”, but why in times of low-battery-crisis-mode do Christians forget there’s a charger right there, totally available for our use!
God is literally right there, waiting for us to remember, “Oh, riiiiiight. That whole control thing? Not my job!”
As a side note, “Not my job” has become one of my favorite phrases, and everyone in a position of leadership needs to become better-acquainted with it.
Instead of fearing the Lord’s sovereignty, I’ve found myself thanking Him for it.
Thank you God for being the one who fixes people.
Thank you God for being the original and ultimate source of wisdom.
Thank you God for not expecting me to do Your job.
When the Lord called me to surrender my self-sufficient nature and my independence, I thought I was losing my mind. How could this, out of all of my interesting personality quirks, be something that needed to go?
And then I thought for awhile.
I allow my independence to fill holes that the Lord is desiring to fill:
The absence of my family
Fear of failure
Fear of rejection
These were all things I never thought I would have issues with, and never did, only because I covered over the holes with my own strength and confidence. And it worked for a very, very long time. But when the Lord called me to a deeper walk, a deeper surrender, it meant stripping that away so He could show me what was underneath, a truer version of myself: A heart deeply dependent and in love with the Lord in ways she never knew possible.
Being independent is great, and I love it, but this new bond I have with the Lord is so much more. I put so much pressure on myself to be me that I never realized the Lord was offering to take that burden in order to reveal a new part of me. He told me it was time to stop being everything for myself, and instead allow myself to be empty and trust Him to fill me.
“Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken, it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” – C.S. Lewis
“Never mistake vulnerability for weakness.” -Atticus
And that’s a wrap! I hope the first week of classes have been great for everyone, and I love feedback, so don’t be afraid to comment! 🙂