“There are not enough hours in the day.” “There is not enough time.” Familiar sounding phrases? What drives our assumed need for constant activity, leaving what seems a deficit in time? Or our lack of activity, living in laziness? What drives you? You may be surprised as you ponder.
I lean toward constant activity. I become overwhelmed with “getting everything done”. I go to bed with things undone. Then I think about the future and wonder, “is this how life works? Am I supposed to live worried and troubled about many things?”
Man’s nature apart from God tends toward the extreme of constant activity or laziness. Both are built on shame, fear and control. These lead to a myriad of ways people learn to avoid pain and pursue pleasure, medicating the wound only Jesus can heal (Luk 4:18). We are all searching for home, for true rest. Home is Jesus.
Beyond words we carry awareness that we are flawed. That is shame. Fear invading, we hide. We control our environment to stay hidden so nobody will know “who we truly are”. This internal complexity rests on a foundation that reads, “You are alone. You must figure out life on your own.”
Shame was exasperated in me by a painful event early in life. My parents divorced. Unknown to me, I formed lies about myself. One such lie goes something like, “I am not worth being fathered.” In fear, I believed I had to figure out life on my own. I learned to control my environment by striving to do all things well to be accepted by male authorities. To break this cycle, my mind needed renewing in Christ (Rom 12:2).
Once I identified this cycle, I sought the Lord’s truth, listening for His voice. The truth is that I am fathered by God, intentionally and personally. He provides, restores, guides, protects and delivers me. I am being transformed as my mind is renewed with this truth through prayer and life experiences.
Jesus came to destroy that skewed foundation and all built on it, the works of the devil. It cracks and crumbles in the words, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you (Joh 14:18).” As we put our trust in Him, He gives His Spirit to abide with us forever (Joh 14:17).
Through the Spirit, we can rest from constant activity or laziness. We can live free from shame, fear, and control. We labor in His rest (Mat 11:28-30). We labor diligently in grace (1 Cor 15:10). We work from completion, not imperfection (Col 2:10). We work from acceptance, not rejection (Eph 1:3). We work from enjoyment, not condemnation (Rom 8:1-2). We face fear not run from it (II Tim 1:7).
Jesus lived free from shame, fear and control. He labored from rest in His soul, confident in His Father’s love. He invites us to learn from Him as we abide in Him (Mat 11:28-30).
Beloved, you are not flawed in Christ. When God looks at you, he sees nothing wrong with you. You are hidden in His Son. You are complete in Him. Learn to live in His perfection. Your position is in Him, not in yourself.
From your high place of abiding, walking in the Spirit, you will discern lies you have believed. Taking them captive, you can inquire of the Lord with questions such as, “Where did this lie originate? What occurred to make me feel flawed? What events in life trigger this belief? How do I respond? How do I control? Do I withdraw, slander, rage, etc.? Take time with this in solitude and silence. The Spirit will reveal much to you and Christ will be increasingly formed within you (Gal 4:19). Enjoy the journey. The Lord is not ashamed of you.