Adventures In Self-Sabotage

Have you ever gone most of the way in order to do something either for yourself or for God, that you weren't quite able to bring to completion for reasons entirely psychological? Have you ever endeavored to walk a path for God, been led of Him to do something, only to bring yourself to failure for no apparent reason?

I've been knocking my head against this one for some time and I absolutely know there is such a thing as a fear of success. God has lined things up for me at times where all I've had to do is make a phone call and yet I have faltered. Let me see if you can relate.

It took my husband and a year and a half to record our first album. Afterward, it took several months of mixing and mastering to get the sound just right. Designing the album took another few months. All this was two years after waiting for the money to create our home studio. In total, it was three and a half years after writing the album, that I finally got to hold the finished product in my hands.

God laid on my heart to call the radio stations.

I was filled with terror.

I froze.

I panicked

I procrastinated.

I might fail if I went. I might look stupid. It was better not to go. 

He said, 'go'.

I went, trembling. I dialed those numbers. I made those phone calls. Our music was later played on the radio and we did interviews. It was, and still is, the final stretch, the home-run running that trips me up. Every. Single. Time.

I'm not afraid to put in the work and to do it with precision. I'm not afraid to spend countless hours making sure a thing is just right. But in the final hours, in the moments that matter most, that will bring a thing to fruition, I experience a sincere dread of following through to the winning shot.

I wish I knew why. I think, perhaps, that I have a fear of success. Only it's not my success I am meddling with, it's God's. At times I have actually tried to fail. And then I think back to how much work I have put into doing whatever project it is, I wish I wasn't so bent on losing.

I think that sometimes winning just isn't who we think we are. I think that sometimes when God chooses the smallest and the outcast, the misfit and the formerly enslaved that we forget we have been chosen to bring God glory. And that means that oftentimes we get to win and that we have to shed off the label of loser and of someone who never does anything right.

In the New Testament there was a man in the parable of the talents who purposely digs a hole and buries his talents in the ground. When God comes back to collect His money, He is seriously at odds with the man who has wasted his goods in such a way. The man is cast out into outer darkness. This is not to say that we will be thrown into hell if we fail to succeed in such a way, simply that that man was unsaved. Still, it is a lesson to be taken seriously.

Perhaps we should think of ourselves as stewards in this whole crazy mess of life in order that we won't be so tempted to willingly flunk out. Perhaps if we see the gifting, talents, and resources as God's, we'll be less likely to want to squander them. For me this is a battle I wage daily. I almost feel it is a waste for God to send me because of my tendency to self-destruct. I desperately don't want this to be the case and only God can help me.

If you're like me and you've related to anything I have said, let's hold on to this powerful passage of scripture:

'For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.' Isaiah 55:10-11

God's words and His purposes will not fail, even if He sends them through frail, crazy creatures like us. Let us remember that we are seeking His glory and perhaps we will no longer be so temped to fail.

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