Beware of the Barrenness of a too Busy Life
The result? After years of this type of conditioning, the child is programmed to feel not okay about him- or herself. The rest of this person's life is spent in perpetual activity trying to prove to him- or herself that he or she does amount to something.
Another person keeps over-active to avoid getting close to people. He or she has been hurt before and doesn't want to get hurt again.
A woman may intentionally become pregnant again to avoid facing her loneliness when her other children are off at school.
Whatever the cause, if the over-active person sits still for long, his or her inner pain of not feeling okay begins to rise to consciousness. He or she then feels empty, bored, lonely, tired, depressed, or restless. To quieten this pain, he or she just keeps busy, busy, busy.
One escapes his or her pain by becoming an alcoholic. Another, a workaholic. In God's sight there's no difference.3
One of the most important lessons in life for every individual to learn and teach his or her children is this: One's worth as a person is never dependent on his or her performance—good or bad. Every person is worthwhile because he or she has been created by God in his image, and loved fully and unconditionally by him.
Those caught in this overactive trap and those who don't feel okay about themselves need to reprogram their feelings of self-worth. One way to do this is to pray out loud each day: "Thank you, God, that you love and accept me exactly as I am without my having to do anything. And because you love and accept me as I am, I love and accept me as I am, too."
One's worth as a person is never
dependent on his or her
performance—good or bad.
It can be helpful to write this prayer on a small card and keep it in your purse or wallet so you can read it every day.
Unfortunately, many people seem to feel that if their performance is good enough, God will love and accept them, too. But this isn't so. God loves and accepts you because you are you. And he accepts you into his Kingdom on the basis of Christ dying on the cross for your sin and on your accepting his free pardon—never on the basis of what you do or fail to do.4
With God, performance is secondary.
Jesus said to Martha, "There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it—and I won't take it away from her."
What was this one thing Jesus spoke about? Perhaps it could be summed up in one word: Relationships.
I believe Jesus was saying that just being a person who relates well to other people and to
God is life's number one priority.
No matter how great one's achievements are, if his or her relationships with people are impaired, he or she is not a successful person. His or her relationship to God will also be impaired. God's Word says that a Christian's love for God was perfected only as he or she loved other people.5
In other words, a person can only love and accept God and relate to him to the degree that he or she loves and accepts other people and relates to them. And an individual can only love and accept other people and relate to them to the degree that he or she loves and accepts him—or herself in a healthy sense.
As Jesus said "There is only one thing to be concerned about." And that is, your relationship—to yourself, to others, and to God.1. 2 Thessalonians 3:10.
5. All articles on the ACTS International website are by Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise noted.
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