It’s Not About Me – How I Got Here
I started this post back in February or March of this year. Every time I would start writing again, I found myself stopping and doubting myself, Questioning why I was even writing at all; I had trouble finding the words. I felt really low and insecure at the time and it seemed that some situations were just not right or fair. I felt hurt as I wasn’t getting the attention that I felt I deserved. Maybe I did deserve it as I should have received equal attention to one of my siblings who did the same kind of work I did. I have this urge or just plain need to impress people, and it’s been an issue for me for many years now.
Where It Started
I think that as we are growing up, we really want to please and make our parents happy and proud. Then this wanting to make our parents proud, turns into more. We begin to seek approval and acceptance from our broader family, and then friends. Before long, we’re even seeking the approval and acceptance of other people who we don’t even know. All of a sudden, years down the road sometimes, when we don’t even realize it, we have pride and jealousy creeping in, and we wanting or seeking to be better than someone else in just about every area of our life. I am now asking myself, “who am I competing with or trying to impress now?”
At one point, I found that I even wished that I could share my story live in front of people at church and all these people would be really impressed, then I would be happy. I look at it now, even if I wanted to give a great testimony and try to encourage people who were in tough circumstances, what was my motivation? Pride!
A Current Example To Me
I was watching this video of Francis Chan this morning. He has really made an impression on me lately. He stated that he also was at one point looking on lists to see where he was as a pastor, pod-caster, to see how he was doing, climbing higher and higher on charts and becoming more and more popular. I realized, that this is exactly what I’ve been trying to do so much of my life and especially more recently with my writing. This isn’t to say that I shouldn’t work hard or be sloppy, but my first purpose should be to glorify God and use my gifts for Him! That, after all, is why He created me.
With all of the social media, then writing on WordPress, I find myself constantly looking at my “likes”, my “numbers”, and comments that are made. This has also spilled over to other parts of my life even those that aren’t visible on social media. I want people to like me! I want to impress! “Does this person like my post or did I get enough likes?” Will I ever be an author? Will I ever make it on a show or on a movie?”
It sounds rather prideful and narcissistic, but I think that a lot of us, look for who we will please EVERY time we do something! We try to please ourselves by trying to please others, then we give ourselves a pat on the back because somehow “we made it”; like that’s a true indicator of my value. It was all a performance to me, trying to be the best, look the best and do the best. My heart only wanted this! I wanted to be better!
It isn’t wrong to work hard or people to be an encouragement to others. It’s about measuring people by people instead of God that trips us up. The apostle Paul put it this way…
We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.2 Corinthians 10:12
But is this my purpose? No. My purpose is to glorify God and to make Him the most important person in my life! He is the only one I must please! He created me and knew me before I was born and created me for a purpose. Jeremiah says:
Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”Jeremiah 1:5
None of this is to say that we don’t need some affirmation. We should affirm others, praise them when they do well. God affirms us in so many ways. He says that we are wanted and precious to Him. Romans 8:35-39 mentions several things that cannot separate us from the love He has for us. We want to feel and believe we are wanted. Here are some lyrics to another song that I love. The song is by Danny Gokey, and is titled “Wanted”
if you could see it through My eyes
You’d know that you are wanted
You’d know that you are wanted
And if you’d let My love inside
I’ll show you that you’re wanted
I’ll show you that you’re wanted
You’re more than all your darkest moments
you are defined by what I see
You’re my reflection, you’re my treasure, you’re my heartbeat
Oh child, you belong to me.Wanted by Danny Gokey
Why I Do Feel Doubt
I do doubt myself and have some significant insecurities.
When I was growing up, I moved so many times. Establishing solid relationships wasn’t ever a feasible because I knew that in a year or so, I would be moving again. I tried making myself and other people happy on the outside, for the short term, because I probably wouldn’t see them again. I could be nice, yet fake. My mom and dad were both teenagers when I was born. Then they divorced and my mom remarried. I was raised by her second husband who I also called Dad and still do to this day.
None of this is an unusual story in this day and age. However, I constantly believed everything I did was wrong. I got in trouble a lot. I felt neglected regularly. I didn’t feel supported.
I just wanted so bad to make everyone happy and hoped that I was pleasing them, but I wasn’t. So, I learned to pretend. This often led to self-criticism, self-doubt and discouragement. Even now, I crave acceptance and approval. I look and compare myself to other people and if they are getting attention, I want that too! It’s jealousy and I tend to take it personally! But, what really matters though?
I Don’t Want To Be Wrong
When I am told I did something wrong, I get upset. I don’t want to be wrong and don’t want to look wrong! I don’t know if I am just trying to prove something to myself or to someone else. Again, insecurity. Do you struggle with this too? If you and I are struggling with this, it is easy to see then, that we might not feel that we were made for a purpose! What value does God place on me? Am I important to Him?
I Owe Him The Glory
I have doubted many times and refused to believe that it is really GOD who has this plan for me and He deserves ALL the glory! It’s not about me! It is totally about only Him and what He knows and wants. In 1 Corinthians, Paul said the following about God’s purpose for me and how much He values me:
But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them-yet not I, but by the grace of God that was with me.1 Corinthians 15:10
The fact is when I get to heaven, I won’t get the glory; I will cast it at His feet because, again, He created me for His glory.
Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name: bring an offering and come before Him; worship the Lord in the beauty of His holiness.1 Chronicles 16:29
It’s probably obvious by now that I lose sight of the purpose God has for me at times. But He has never lost sight of me and while I might not be able to see it clearly now, someday, His purpose will be crystal clear.
“For now we see in a mirror dimly but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully even as I have been fully known.”1 Corinthians 13:12
So many times we make worshiping ourselves, our idol. We are most important to ourselves or the praise of other people, is so important to us, we make ourselves an idol. But worshiping God Alone, is our purpose. It’s only Him who deserves the glory!
Ascribe(assign) to the Lord, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord, glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord, the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.Psalm 29:1-2
You are worthy, our Lord and Our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things and by your will they were created and have their being.Revelation 4:11