I’m fifty years old, and it took me some time to figure it out. I’d fallen for a lie. The lie was subtle, and sounded plausible, but in the end it was a lie. The lie kept me spinning my wheels, and it continued to make promises that it couldn’t deliver. I kept pressing further into the lie because as I looked around me I saw that I wasn’t alone. Other people were running just as hard behind the lie as I was. I saw that the lie was the norm in our culture. What is the lie? The lie tells us that we need to try with everything in us to become the best version of ourselves possible. The benefit, according to the lie, is that this best version of ourselves is what is needed in order to please God.
The Lie Makes Us Work Harder
In an attempt to actualize this promise (that the harder I try the better I will become), we strive. We work, we read, then we work and read some more. We believe that it is possible. The lie says that all we need to do is keep pressing as hard as possible. The lie whispers that all it will take is a bit more hard work. The lie promises that one day, at the end of all the work, we will have made it! We will be our best selves. And not only will we be happy with our best selves, but our best selves are what God desires us to become. In all our striving to become better versions of ourselves we actually will (according to the lie) be able to please God.
The Lie Is Cannot Produce The Promised End
Here is the problem with believing the lie. It’ll never happen. At least not the way that the lie says that it will. Strive as much, or as long, as you like. You may become stronger, wiser, and wealthier, but you won’t find that you’ve pleased God. You see, God isn’t interested in our becoming better versions of ourself. God doesn’t desire that we work to become the best us possible. To the contrary, God’s desire is that we become our new self.
Who Needs A Better You When A New You Is Available?
You see, God never intended for us to become improved versions of the persons we are or used to be. The miracle is that God actually recreates us. We become new creations. Here is the power in this truth. When we become new, not simply improved, it stands as a testament to all that the work of salvation is wholly God’s. It is His domain. There is no room for human boasting. This is important. Because anything less than this truth actually perpetuates the lie that keeps us trying to improve ourselves.
“God never intended for us to become improved versions of the persons we are are used to be.”
There Is Rest Available When We Drop The Lie
Have you believed the lie? How’s that worked? Maybe you have a successful career. A beautiful family. Plenty of possessions. It’s also possible that along with all of these things comes the worry about how to keep them, or the strain of getting them in the first place. It has the facade of blessing without the peace. No. God wants more. He wants us to cease striving and know that He (alone) is God. He wants all the glory, and will not share it with another. He wants to give us rest.
The rest of God only comes from believing Him enough to trust Him. When we trust God. When we trust that He will be there. When we trust that He will provide. When we trust these things even when we can’t see or feel His presence. Then, only then, can we rest. Then we know we’re not simply improved versions of our old selves…we are even better…we are new.