I heard someone say one time-I think it might have been Beth Moore-that if the devil can’t make you bad, he will make you busy. I can’t think of any other time in our culture that that statement has been more true. I can personally attest to the fact that, though I do not always struggle with the obvious sins, busyness is my nemesis. I am the queen of trying to do too many things at one time, resulting in the things that are important to me-the things that really matter-not being done well.
Society is different now than it was when so many of the well known evangelists and Kingdom Workers were doing God’s bidding. Tozier and Spurgeon didn’t battle with the demands of social media. Billy Graham didn’t have to build a following through the means of YouTube and Instagram. No. They simply did what God called them to do and trusted that he would handle the logistics.
Nowadays, we worry so much about building a platform that we forget that the Kingdom is already established.
I am as guilty of it as anyone. I check my “numbers” more often than I check my email. Self-doubt creeps in when I see someone “unfollow” me on social media and I begin to wonder what I did that made someone leave. When I see someone else’s numbers growing rapidly, I worry more about emulating their posts and figuring out what it is that they do that makes them so “popular” that I lose sight of who God made ME to be.
Not only is social media my struggle, I am a “yes” kind of person. I have a really hard time telling people no. I do not like confrontation in the least. I don’t like to disappoint people and I do not like to let people down. When we lived in Alaska and I was just starting my web design business, I did not turn down a single project. Not one. Every person that came to me with the desire to work with me, I accepted. Regardless of whether I thought that their project was a good fit. Regardless of whether I immediately sensed that they would be a client that was difficult to work with (and believe me that happens often). I was too excited about the ability to be “known” and that someone chose me to work with, that I overlooked everything else.
If I were your enemy, I’d make everything seem urgent, as if it’s all yours to handle. I’d bog down your calendar with so many expectations you couldn’t tell the difference between what’s important and what’s not. Going and going, guilty for ever saying no, trying to control it all, but just being controlled by it all instead…If I could help keep you busy enough, you’d be too overwhelmed to even realize how much work you’re actually saving me.
I became so busy that I stopped sleeping. I was working 18-20 hours a day, barely sleeping, and completely absent for my family. The results of that were a lot of extra stress and a lot of problems at home. I lost connection with my husband and our marriage suffered. I jumped back into work too soon after having our second son and stayed sick with mastitis more times than I can even count. My heard was fueled by the wrong passions and I suffered for it, as did my family.
Not only that, but my love for the work that I did faded as the job became too much pressure. The joy that I had once found in creating beautiful things, was gone because I was working too hard trying to do it all and be it all. Subconsciously, I was competing with every other designer out there-though I would have never openly admitted that. Jealousy raged within when I saw someone else finding success doing the thing that I was doing. Over time I have learned that, though for a season my business was a good thing for my family, it wasn’t the best thing for my family.
My fear of not being enough…not measuring up…not doing enough…led me to a place of bitterness toward something I once loved and left me feeling the same sense of emptiness that I felt before I started working. Something that I believe God had brought me to so that he could give me joy during a season of life where I was struggling (if you’ve ever been to Kodiak, Alaska…you’ll understand the reason I needed something to bring joy…dreariest place on Earth), the enemy used to bring disdain.
Thank you, God for perspective.
(feel free to answer in the comments or privately on your own)
- Are there things in your life that God has given you to bring joy that the enemy has used to bring pressure?
- What area/s of your life do you find yourself struggling most with when it comes to meeting unrealistic expectations?
- What is God asking you to let go of so that you can find rest?
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.