Awhile back a guy named Clayton Barbeau came up with the cheeky phrase “shoulding yourself”. He used to it describe a situation I often see in today’s church. Ask yourself, how often do you find yourself thinking about the things you should be doing, and how much of the anxiety in your life is tied to those “should” thoughts?
- I should be studying more.
- I should agree with my parents.
- I should control my lustful desires.
- I should read the Bible more often.
- I should be more committed to the Lord.
- I should be happy, smart, pretty, thin, and in better shape.
On and on. We pile these shoulds on ourselves without really examining them, because, after all, these are “positive” things. Exercising, studying, reading the Bible, these are always good, all the time, and I could always be doing more, therefore I SHOULD always be doing more.
But let me share one simple reality with you, beloved: by saying that you “should” do something, you’ve just made yourself less likely to actually do it. When you say, I should do something, your brain takes that something and files it away in a drawer labeled “Stuff I dread because I suck” …and who wants to spend time digging around in that drawer?
If you say you should read more Bible, you’ve just made reading the Bible a chore and an obligation. Reading the Bible because you love it is a long way from reading the Bible because I suck if I don’t. Then all of a sudden, the enemy whispers in your ear, “if you really wanted to read that Bible, you’d already be reading it.”
What’s worse, is that I think some Christians think their whole job is telling people what they should be doing. If you think shoulding all over me is the same as ministering to me, then we need to have a long talk.
So what’s the solution? Let me give you three steps:
1) Humility. You shouldn’t be holier than what you are, let’s be honest, you’re doing good to be as holy as you are right now. I mean, dang, have you met you? You should be humping everything that walks, given that every molecule in your body is screaming out for you to get out there and sex it up. But look at you, you’re keeping yourself basically in check. Are you doing a perfect job of that? Heck no. Is it still worthy of some recognition, considering the effort it takes to hold things back? You bet it is.
2) I can, I will, or I’m working on. Replace the word “should” with any of these three phrases that apply. I should avoid porn, becomes: I can control my lusts, with God’s help. I should read my Bible, becomes: I will be making time to read my Bible, because it’s important to me, and it refreshes me. I should be a better Christian becomes: I’m working on being less prideful and more focused on God. Those shoulds sound kinda whiney in a way, but those “I can and I will” phrases sound bold and strong.
3) Joy barometer. Do you ever notice that when you start shoulding, that joy begins to leave the picture? Your focus shifts off of the face of God Himself, and onto your sins. 2 Corinthians 3:17 says “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” All those shoulds weigh you down with the chains of obligation. But there is a joy in knowing the right path and freely walking in it.
Sure, the enemy is going to tell you that your relationship with God should be less messy, it should be more consistent, that it shouldn’t be hanging by a thread on many a day. But God loves your sloppy, messy, confused little self, right now, as you are. Period. Will you get better? Sure, but you’re perfectly loved and totally forgiven, right now.
So we should feel joy… I mean, we can and we will, live in the joy of this moment. :)
- dreamsinthesea reblogged this from noiseandconfusion
- sapphireblues likes this
- lanea-marie likes this
- trubilee likes this
- faithclt likes this
- starrceeairahh reblogged this from unkaglen
- starrceeairahh likes this
- kiwisandher reblogged this from lifeondisplay
- lifeondisplay reblogged this from unkaglen and added:
- aliceyoon likes this
- eggsammich reblogged this from nupinoop296
- nupinoop296 reblogged this from unkaglen
- nupinoop296 likes this
- jennaychennaynay likes this
- xingii likes this
- artisthumilty likes this
- xjimmyx256 reblogged this from unkaglen
- pandacuddler likes this
- noiseandconfusion reblogged this from unkaglen
- noiseandconfusion likes this
- jinniedapooh reblogged this from unkaglen and added:
- shehasflowersinherhair reblogged this from unkaglen
- nikkilac likes this
- creatingfire likes this
- payadime likes this
- stumblingcloser likes this
- mwfi likes this
- marey likes this
- bubblydani likes this
- itmakesforhappyendings likes this
- mishmashxoxo reblogged this from unkaglen
- mishmashxoxo likes this
- kelseyisms reblogged this from unkaglen
- kelseyisms likes this
- watchme-wander likes this
- watchme-wander reblogged this from unkaglen
- teamunity likes this
- christopherslin likes this
- i-am-des likes this
- hislightshinesinme likes this
- lifecoramdeo likes this
- jeraldina likes this
- jeraldina reblogged this from unkaglen and added:
- theunnarratedlife reblogged this from unkaglen
- hannahbanena likes this
- sammi418 reblogged this from youmakemewannabebrave
- youmakemewannabebrave reblogged this from unkaglen
- andrealimcc likes this
- kafryn likes this
- leavealegacy reblogged this from unkaglen