My women’s small group at church recently completed Jen Hatmaker’s “For the Love”. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was lighthearted, funny and full of great reminders, tips and that type of wisdom that you just learn with a little life behind you. Last night, as we were wrapping up the book and preparing to break for the summer, I was reminded of the one line that resonated with me most. “We are not called to be good Gods over one another.”
WOW!!! BAM! Whoomp there it is?! That one liner literally jumped off the page and smacked me all upside the head. You see, I have this little habit, and I’ll just confess it right here. At times, I have a little God, Jr. complex. Now I know this about myself so I work hard to keep it in check. And yes, before you get started, God, Sr. is fully aware. So I own up to this tendency especially when I catch myself trying to fix broken people. In fact, to keep me accountable God has a way of convicting me with funny little reminders in books like “For the Love” to go sit my butt down somewhere and get out of His way. You see I am not called to be a good God over friends, family members, associates and others. It is not my job to save others. It is my job to support them and, if asked, give guidance in alignment with the truth. I am not called to save or sacrifice myself for others.
Because I am aware of my own pain, I am drawn to others’ pain. And I do. I want to help them, liberate them and free them from their pain, but quite honestly the work is not mine to do. My job is to tell the truth. My truth. Based on my own life’s experiences. Uncensored. Unfiltered. Plain and simple. And let Him do the rest.
God really doesn’t need my help with any of this anyway so when I feel myself taking on the burdens of this world, picking up crosses I was never meant to carry and signing myself up for martyrdom, I have to remind myself that it’s just not necessary. And while as a good Christian woman, I’ve been led to believe that getting all armored up and ready to battle, evangelizing the masses, convicting the people of their wrongdoings and reminding them that they need to be better, do better, and live better is what I am called to do, I refuse to believe it is my job is to condemn others. It’s way too much responsibility for me to assume especially when just like them I am as broken. Who am I to assume the role of Savior to the masses? So when my God complex flairs up, as from time to time it does, He convicts me and reminds to sit down and get out of His way. “Sit down God, Jr.”, He whispers. “I got this.”
And so I’ve chosen truth over duty. Truth over obligation. Truth over holier than thouness. Because truth is what is required to live my best life. Being truthful about my limitations and my insecurities. Telling the truth about my fears and inabilities, and facing the raw ugly truth of my life’s failures and owning my part in these realities is what I know I am called to do. And so I live from this place. For it is only when I am truthful with others about who I am, what I need and what is and isn’t acceptable for me that I see life transform before my eyes. My friendships get healthier, my relationships become less toxic, and my daily interactions with others become more pleasant. For it is when I share my truth that others are liberated to do the same. And once set free from our ugly truths we are transformed and allowed to share our beautifully broken selves with each other and the world without fear, without hiding, and without shame.
So today I challenge you to consider what the world would look like if we stopped playing the role of God, Jr. in each others’ lives. What would happen if we stopped trying to control others with our thoughts and opinions of what’s right and wrong with them and for them? What if we accepted people’s realities for what they are without dismissal, without judgment, without disregard for their life’s journey and their life’s story? What if we were just wholeheartedly good to each other and stopped trying to be good Gods over each other?
If we petitioned God to stand in the gap between us all a little more often and learned to accept each other, embrace and love each other more in raw honest truth, then perhaps our souls would settle. Our anxiety would abate. We’d stop controlling outcomes and simply live the life He is calling us to live with all our hearts, and in the end we’d know joy unspeakable joy.