That whole fear of not being good enough drove me to a workaholic faith. The thought of never being good enough translated into never doing enough. I would look at other people’s lives (playing the comparison game) and think they were doing so much more eternally worthy things in their lives. I would go into panic mode and start analyzing what I was doing and what else I could be doing. All the while, I was working so hard to make everything in my life look perfect (which obviously is impossible).
And if I wasn’t perfect, I thought something was wrong – so something was always wrong and I was constantly trying to fix myself. And I thought my faith was just “not enough” (there are those two words again).
I was totally over-thinking the “faith without works is dead” thing (James 2:26). This morning, I was reminded by my daily Bible verse on YouVersion, that it is so much simpler than that.
“for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
The more I tried to will myself to do work for God’s good pleasure, the more circles I ran around what really matters. Pretty soon, I would run myself into the ground. Thank the Lord, He does not leave us where we are.
And thank the Lord for Bob Goff. It was in his book, Love Does that I was introduced to the “Palms Open” way of living. I’m sure God has tried to run this idea by me several times, but it finally clicked when I read Love Does.
With everything I own, I do, I love, I have a passion for, God is simply calling me to keep my palms open. I have to be willing to give it all up at the drop of a hat.
So all the goals I set every year, I have to be willing to give them up. The plans I made for today, I have to be flexible to let go of all or part of them if something more important comes up. I have to say “no” to some really good ideas, so I can FOCUS on the things that really matter. I have to be willing to give up my pride and risk talking about Jesus even if I will get weird looks or maybe even … offend someone. I have to be real and post imperfect pictures on Instagram even though I may lose some followers or if scoffers claim I’m not a “professional.”
That word “willing” is really important. God fills our hands with so many blessings and He wants us to keep our palms open instead of clenching our fists tightly around those blessings. And then there are times He asks us to actually lay down those blessings. I’ll talk about that in another post.
What are those things that you have trouble loosening your grip on?
For me, it’s
- Other people’s opinions of me.
- My art.
- My peace and quiet.
- My clean counters.
- My business.
It is my greatest hope is to live with my palms always open and upward day after day.