Thursday, October 3, 2013

Stop Taking Yourself Out Of The Game

by Andrew Cromwell

You see it all the time in professional sports. A player who has all the talent, all the ability and all the coaching, but they just can't get out of their own way. Sometimes it is because their life off the playing field spills over into their ability to function athletically. Other times, there is a mental game going on in their head and they are losing.

We see it happen in sports, and we see it happen in life in general. Because of the script running inside people's heads, they take themselves out of healthy relationships, keep themselves isolated from healthy human contact, stay silent when they should speak up and generally sabotage their own ability to move forward in life.  Until we learn to tame the inner critic and change the recording that constantly feeds us negativity and self-destructive thought patterns, we will withdraw instead of moving forward in life.

This happens spiritually too. Most all of us have done it at one time or another. We start thinking about getting closer to God or getting back into church (or going for the first time), and immediately we think of all the reasons we are not good enough and why we don't have a chance. We remind our self about how messed up we are and all the reasons why God wouldn't want to have anything to do with us. And before we've even moved one step in that healthy direction, we have taken ourselves out of the game.

It is part of our human nature. When we feel less than worthy, we hide. Whenever we feel tension, we tend to withdraw from a relationship, rather then pushing forward and dealing with the cause of the friction. We play this same unfruitful game with our Father God. The moment we fail Him, we decide we have no right to be close to Him, and we take two steps back. Even worse, sometimes we figure if we've already messed up, we might as well just go all the way, and we end up running in the other direction altogether.

We do it because we have a false belief that God is waiting to smack us down when we fail. We might believe this because of the way our own dad acted with us or because some authority figure in our life walked away from us when we failed. But this is just the opposite of what we should do. Jesus gave us a perfect picture of Father God when He walked here on earth, and what He showed us was that He is not afraid of our failure. Jesus told Peter (who would shortly betray Him), "I have prayed for you, that when you have failed you will be strengthened and then strengthen others" (Luke 22:32).

This is what God wants to do when we mess up. He wants to strengthen us. Remember, He knew we were going to mess up in the first place! So even though we are surprised when we mess up, He isn't! He doesn't step away from us because we mess up, we step away from Him. His desire is ALWAYS to fix us!

And this is the sad irony of it all. The very moment we should be drawing closer to Him and asking Him for help, forgiveness and restoration, we instead are moving farther from Him. We are taking ourselves out of the very relationship that is the most healthy and healing for us.

So the next time, that inner voice inside your head starts to tell you that you're not good enough to step closer to God, you tell it to shut up and take a bold step forward into the arms of a Father who is waiting to heal and restore. Don't wait to be good enough for Him (we never will be on our own), instead ask Him to help you and fix you. He always answers "yes" to that question.

No comments:

Post a Comment