While I was growing up, I experienced my fair share of hurt but I never considered myself to be wounded. The day I got my school results set my life on a new course. I was 16 and I did well.
The achievement gave me a rushing sense of self-worth. It felt like I’d taken a harmless drug and I liked the effects. I liked them very much.
As the years went on, I continued to seek success. I loved the feeling of significance that it produced in me. Without even realising it, I had become a ‘success junkie’.
Promotions, winning contracts, positions in church, recognition in Christian circles: they all gave me the ‘shot in the arm’ that I needed to feel good about me. And because I was succeeding, I thought I was sorted.
But I had issues: I craved attention and always looked for affirmation from family & friends. I cared very much what others thought of me and I was often anxious around important people. Big job titles and even being called ‘Pastor’ made me feel important.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the most secret parts.” Jeremiah 17:9-10
This scripture tells us that one of the heart’s greatest capabilities is deceit. Just as the heart is able to love and be loved, the heart is able to deceive and be deceived. Put simply, your heart can – and probably does – lie to you.
My heart told me I was fine but that was a lie, and a big problem. If our foundations are shaky, then everything we build is at risk.
If I need people’s praises to build me up then their criticism will be able to tear me down. God wants our validity to come from Him alone. That is the only way we can be stable and secure. And unless we are healed deep down, that is very, very hard.
My moment of truth
You may have heard me tell this story. It may be the single most important lunch of my life…
After ten years in ministry, I was having lunch one day with a prophet. As we ate, she asked me a question: “Do you think you were rejected when you were growing up?” I sat and thought. I had always known that my parents loved me so I responded, “No. ”
I sat in silence for a few moments. Then the Spirit of Truth pierced my heart and exposed my true inner state. I cried for nearly half an hour as God shined His light into my heart.
That was the beginning of my journey of healing. It started when I faced the truth that I didn’t feel good enough. Without my job titles or positions, I did not feel that I was enough. The ultimate transformation was extraordinary but it began with truth.
What about you?
Who or what gives you a sense of worth? How easy is it for someone to rock your security? God wants you to be totally secure. Join the journey to wholeness and stay on board until you reach a place of unshakable inner peace.