“If you always place limit on everything you do, physical, or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” ~ Bruce Lee
“Let me hear your lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; for to you, I lift up my soul.” ~ Psalm 143:8
The group topic was “Heart & Motivation,” and in the midst of a fairly deep conversation, the pivotal moment came right about here:
Group Leader, (who also happens to have all the more credibility because he’s a professional mental health counselor): So if we don’t have to prove ourselves to God, how does that make you feel?
Me: I guess it should make me feel free.
Group Leader: And why do you guess?
Me: Well, maybe I don’t necessarily have to question the motives for everything I do.
Group Leader: And why do you question yourself?
Me: (Long pause, and at an unusual loss for words.)
Group Leader: You’re saying you don’t trust yourself?
Me: (Suddenly enlightened) Yes, that’s it.
My immediate inner thought that I kept to myself: Why would I trust myself when a business coach just three months ago assessed me as having a self-sabotaging personality, and I already know that I second guess just about everything I do?
When a person gets to a place in life where he/she begins to question their own motives in everything they do it can be stifling at least, self-destructive at worst.
I pretty much do that, and I know it, and I’m looking for a way out.
“For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” ~ Romans 7:14-15
ANALYSIS PARALYSIS – Here’s the Wikipedia definition … “Over-analyzing or over-thinking a situation, so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises. A person might be seeking the optimal or ‘perfect’ solution upfront, and fear making any decision which could lead to erroneous results, when on the way to a better solution.”
It makes me wonder:
Why was I compelled to stop on the side of the road and talk to a young couple holding a sign that read, “We need help.” Did I have a genuine concern for their well-being, or did I just want to score some points with God?
Why did I volunteer to host a group of friends from church to a backyard cookout? Did I have genuine hospitality in my heart, or did I just want to impress them in some way?
Why do I write on a weekly basis some four to five times a week and put it out there for the world to see? Am I addressing these things to help other people, or am I just seeking to draw attention to myself?
I’m writing my first book and the manuscript is about 50 percent complete. It’s a good book, and I’m fairly sure of that. Why don’t I get off my butt and finish the good work? Why do I feel paralyzed to finish?
Is my nature genuinely good or bad, and how will I ever know, and does it even matter?
Why don’t I love people more than I feel like I do?
Reading Kyle Idleman’s Not a Fan recently had a profound effect on my thinking. The premise of the book is this: There is a magnanimous difference between being just a fan, or a true follower of Jesus.
Case in Point: I woke up early Sunday morning with the intention to write a new blog post and the title would have been something like this: “First Facebook Church – Am I Becoming a Charter Member?”
To explain: It makes me wonder when I write a blog post about faith, or God or Christianity … am I just trying to draw attention to what I do, or are my motives pure and designed for the good of others?
So at some point early in the morning “paralysis analysis” took grip and I wrote nothing, and then I went to church.
My church is a good church. It’s a safe place. It is led by really good men with the purest hearts I’ve seen. It’s an amazing thing to be in a place where you can feel love oozing out and permeating through and through.
Sunday’s message at Fellowship Bible Church was from Psalm 32. It is one of David’s many messages of God’s forgiveness.
I jotted down the following notes from the pastor’s message:
God has granted a suspension of justice in his mercy, and for our sake.
We are free to fail.
My performance really doesn’t matter. On judgment day, God won’t ask for my resume.
The only thing I contribute to my salvation is the sin that made the salvation necessary.
I need to tear up my transcript, and quit worrying about my motives.
It’s a message I need to hear every day. The Gospel is Good news.
And I come to this conclusion: Maybe I am bad. But thank goodness, Jesus is good.
Was this the appropriate thing to write today? I can only hope.
TOMORROW’S POST: A Few Things I Genuinely Believe.
(Check out my secondary blog: Latitude One @ http://wp.me/2tJ80