In craving the comforts of compulsive work I meet anxiety when I am unable to attain the desired intensity of toil. And you know what this tells me? That I think far, far more highly of myself (and my work) than I ought (Rom 12:3).
If you were to ask a small child what they wanted to be when they grew up, they would answer something like, a doctor, a pop star, a dentist, a millionaire, it’s wired deep in us from an early age we want to be something great. We want success and fame. As we get older we still want to be great but we also want to do it right while being great. We can all handle being great so we think, but nothing trips us up in life more than when we fail. We don’t have a clue on how to give ourselves the grace to fail.
If I’m a terrible parent, I’ll have terrible children. If I’m a horrible wife, my marriage suffers. If I don’t teach my bible courses well, these women could walk away not knowing the gospel. If I counsel someone poorly, they could miss the healing of God. If I don’t organize a meal plan, my family could be eating PB&J all week. If I don’t budget well, we’ll go into debt. All real scenarios, all real consequences. The fear however, is lodged in the idea that if the worse case scenarios happens and I drop the ball, the consequence is going to give me a result that I don’t want.
If you have a family or are engaged in a community of people, it doesn’t take long to find someone dealing with addiction. Whether it is a member of your family, small group participant or a member of a congregation, there is someone near you who is struggling.
What do you do when someone you love has an addiction?
If I apply the gospel to my desire for marriage, I come to realize that God won’t give me a husband because I’ve achieved it and reached “equilibrium.” If God does give me my husband, it will be in His own time, in His infinite wisdom, and as a gift, not as a prize that I’ve earned, but as something that is for my good and His glory. What freedom! I no longer have to hold myself to impossible standards. I’m free to trust God with my life and I’m free from the fear of messing up or failing to attain “equilibrium.”