Do you ever find yourself emotionally exhausted? Do you ever feel tired, like you aren’t getting anywhere? Do you ever find yourself saying, when I get “_______” then I will be happy? The “fill in the blank” might be a new job. It may be getting a big project done. It may even be cleaning the house.
There are numerous reasons we may wrestle with the above feelings. We won’t get into everything here. However, I want to share with you something out of Morris Dirks book, Forming the Leader’s Soul: An Invitation to Spiritual Direction.
In one chapter, he talks about how leaders can often lead with the wrong motives. This discussion is relevant for more than just leaders. This is really a discussion of who we are. Who are you? Who decides? Where does your identity rest?
Let’s take a look at three unhealthy ways we often use to define our identity:
The Need to Be Liked – Working to Keep others Happy We work to please other people. We are motivated to do what we do because we know that it will please the people in our lives. Maybe it is a boss. Maybe it is a parent. Maybe it is a spouse.
Who is in “control” here? Not you. Them. Your identity is in the hands of somebody else.
The Need to Succeed – Working to Win Others’ Approval Who you are, your self worth, is directly tied to what you do and how well you do it. Too often, this can be seen as a positive trait in a leader or employee.
Want to feel approved and valued? Work harder. Do more.
The Need for Perfection – Working to Make Things Right Do you feel like you need to be perfect? Can you always find something that needs to be improved or changed? This may be at work. This may be in your spouse. This may be in your kids.
When exactly does something or someone reach “perfection”?
This is way too short of a discussion on such an important topic. Even in this brief summary, I think you can see how quickly life becomes tiresome. I can speak from personal experience, often wrestling with one or two of the above. It is more than OK to reach out and talk to somebody. Talk to a friend or make an appointment with a counselor.
May I suggest reading Ephesians 1 this week. Listen for who you are in Christ. Do you know your true identity? You are approved. You are blameless. You are perfect.
Blessings, Pastor Matt