Recently I spent some time talking to someone who had just gotten out of jail for a parole violation. The words of honesty came out that one of their problems was that they always had to shine, to be a little better than everyone else, never could settle for being ordinary. As a child they were always told they were not good enough, needed to be more, do more. Sound familiar?
Tonight in our Toyota dealership we are set up with Channel 15 News from Mobile, with two competing bands and supporters from rival schools holding a pep rally for their new generation of High School football superstars! Lots of pressure for those young men to perform and make everyone happy. How many of them will also have unreasonable expectations? How many will fail and live on a slippery slope?
Today I got one of those Diet Coke cans which in the past week or two had been labeled "Soulmate", "Best Friends" and a myriad of other titles that I paid no attention to, then today my can said Superstar! Now we are talking I thought, it was right I have been shining a lot lately, but the real truth is that I shine because I know where the light is coming from and it is not my performance, except how I perform through Him. I finally understand that principle.
But I was alot like that person released from jail, I was told I wasn't good enough by several people with great influence on my life.
So, we always have to take a step back and make sure we are not trying to win at all costs, that our motives to succeed are not driven by the noise in our heads from the past, but are from a genuine desire to do our best in all things because our boss (the Lord) is so supportive and loving. He is the superstar, we are the fortunate ones who bask in his glory of forgiveness and second chances.
Just think how many of us who thought we were superstars flamed out when left to our own devices. That's the problem, for whatever reasons we were driven to think that way, we were never grounded in reality, always thinking in terms of fantasy living. I know, I was there, and the Lord in all his goodness knocked me severely off my high horse.
Truth is, we can never achieve what God has already done for us, we are always good enough for Him, even when we are not at our best. That should comfort us, not lead us on a path of self destruction.
It is much better for my life to let Him have all the glory, to shine because of Him, and just soak in those rays of grace that flow from Him!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.