Sometimes equating our personal worth with our work is so ingrained in us it feels wrong NOT to - like we're skipping out on some required part of being an adult.
Newsflash: God wants us to be virtuous, He wants us to grow, He wants us to take responsibility, but really is not calling us to look like your standard-issue, overly-self-reliant adult. I don't if I ever put that thought together totally prior to right now, but here's why I think it holds up:
Being a "responsible adult" is so often viewed as a function of having a certain level of control. And though we do need to - again - grow in virtue, curb our urges, and take responsibility, the level of control a lot of people are seeking is actually overstepping our bounds as humans and entering into God's territory.
We want to put enough money away that no ruin can affect our family.
We want to be invincibly healthy so that no pain or suffering can inflict us.
We want to control our kids environments so that they are not exposed to anything adverse.
All of these things are good to a point and are part of healthy stewardship, but the issue becomes how far we push them. Are we doing these things in a spirit of gratitude for what we've been given, but ultimately remaining less attached to them than we are to God, or are we clinging to these things for dear life with clenched fists, convinced that if they fail, we have also failed?
We're not called to control, we're called to surrender. So much of the pain and strife we see in the world is a function of people lashing out, frequently in response to how little control they feel they have. And the answer is not getting more control, it's surrender.
And this is so often where the lie comes in: that we - that our identity - is tied to what we do, the control we have, the safety nets we create. It really is a lie: nothing we create can ultimately sustain us. Only God can do that, and only as a gift out of His goodness, which we receive simply as an outpouring of who we are.
I want to invite you to pray about that with me today on our podcast - if you haven't listened before, every third Tuesday I lead you in a meditative prayer that helps you work out the lie of the month with Jesus. Join me today?