You don’t have to do it all. In fact, it’s impossible to do all, be all, and get it all right, all of the time. Thankfully, Jesus never asks such things of us.
So why do we fall into the trap of believing that we can’t be happy unless we perform perfectly? Or that we can’t enjoy life unless everyone is happy with us? How captive are we, really?
Recently on Middays with Susie Larson, I spoke with Dr. Chris Thurman about his book, “The Lies We Believe: Renew Your Mind and Transform Your Life.”
Dr. Thurman shared that we all believe lies to some degree, and if we don’t address them and replace them with the truth—a truth that goes deep into our soul—those lies will negatively and profoundly impact how we view ourselves, others, and God.
What are some of the most common lies we believe about ourselves? According to Dr. Thurman, they are:
- It’s not okay to be human and make mistakes
- My worth is determined by how I perform
- I must have everyone’s love and approval
- It’s easier to avoid my problems than to face them
Dr. Thurman writes:
It’s hard to make the shift from wanting everyone’s love and approval to authentically being who you are whether people love and accept you or not. Steps in that direction are very painful to take. Not taking those steps, though, makes our lives even more painful.
He suggests that life is going to involve pain, so you need to pick your pain. Do you want to do the good work of dealing with the lies embedded in your soul and pursue redemptive thinking so you can break free and enjoy healthier relationships? Or do you want to avoid that battle and deal instead with the destructive pain of living captive to the lie?
God is God and we are not. Grasping this truth matters if we’re to ever break free from the lies that hold us captive. We’re more needy than we’d like to be yet more loved than we can fathom or imagine. When we put ourselves on a pedestal or place upon ourselves an impossible standard, we’re not viewing our lives through the lens of truth. And when we berate ourselves for falling short of our impossible standard, we don’t reflect God’s heart for His own, and we miss out on the grace of God, and miss the joy of enjoying life with Him.
God is the One who gets it right all of the time. He knows how weak we are, so He offers us new mercies and grace with each new morning. God is the One who carries the world on His shoulders, so we don’t have to. God is the One who defends our honor and establishes our worth, so we can kick performance and striving to the curb and decide instead to accept acceptance and enjoy our fellowship with the Savior.
What if you decided to declare today: You know? I don’t have to be all things to all people. I can be me and trust Jesus as I journey through this life. Not everyone will like me or approve of me, and sometimes I’ll fall short of their expectations of me, but that has absolutely no bearing on my worth, my identity, or on God’s great love for me. Starting today, I’m going to practice self-compassion. I don’t have to do it all because that’s not what God has asked of me. I don’t have to get it right all of the time because I’m not God, and it’s not possible for me. I’m going to settle into my journey with grace instead of condemnation. I’m going to practice compassion where I’m tempted to judge. And I’m going to trust God to work in me and give me the power to do what pleases Him.
May God bring to surface the lies you believe and the truths you need. Jesus loves you so much and as you walk intimately with Him, He will finish what He started in you.
You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.