Striving and Indulging

March 2024

Last week I met a gentleman that was doing some work for us, and I knew he had a large piece of equipment to move in and set up. I asked him if he’d like me to help him get it out of his truck and set it up. He looked at me for a moment and then said he prefers to do it himself. He went on to confess that his motto was ‘If you want it done right, just do it yourself’.

Our culture has taught us a lot regarding work and success. A primary ‘principle’ is that we’re on our own, nobody is going to bail us out. Eldredge puts it this way . . .

I’d have to confess the bulk of it (his working life) as striving and indulging. Pushing myself hard to excel, taking on the battles that come to me with determination, but also with a fear based drivenness, believing deep down inside that there is no one I can trust to come through for me. Striving and then arranging for little pleasures along the way to ease the pain of the drivenness and loneliness.”

Doing it alone, doing it ‘our way’ as Frank Sinatra sang, may sound noble, strong, and admirable, but it really exposes issues deep in our hearts that stem from some woundedness in the past. The bravado of ‘independence’ is usually a way our enemy uses to separate us from the genuineness of our heart. He weaves a story out of our past that Brent Curtis described as . . .

Counting on our vanity and blindness, he seduces us to try to control life by living in the smaller stories we construct to one degree or another . . . He accuses us through the words of parents, and friends and God Himself. He calls good evil and evil good and always helps us question whether God has anything good in His plan for us.”

He wants to steal, kill, and destroy our true freedom and effectiveness, and get us to agree that we must do life on our own. Therefore, we get stuck in the ‘striving and indulging cycle’, keeping ourselves isolated and accountable to no one, which is the opposite of what is healthy and life giving for us and those around us.

It takes awareness, humility, and intentionality to truly be a team player and a leader who is accountable to a group of peers who are able to keep us aligned with our identity in Christ and our identity as a servant leader.

Stay engaged and accountable!