Jesus reveals wrong views about God to manager
C works in his family business and subconsciously sought to win his parents’ approval in every way. The pressure he felt led him to turn to pornography for comfort. Here is his testimony of realising that God’s love is different from his parents’ love and that he does not need to strive to win God’s approval. Praise God!
I come from a good Christian background.
My parents are believers and they love me very much. All my life, I equated their love with God’s love. Their way of showing love is through acts of service while I receive love through positive words of affirmation.
As a result, I have always longed for their encouragement and comfort, but found that I only receive praise as a reward for performing well.
This mismatch in our love languages influenced me a lot.
When I was in school, I would strive for that extra five marks in every test. At work, I easily fixate on how to develop myself.
I am also very self-critical.
No matter how hard I try in anything I do, I only see what I have missed, rather than what I have achieved. I became constantly unhappy with myself, because I felt that I had not done enough to make people happy. My mind was filled with lots of discouraging thoughts. This affected my self-esteem.
I couldn’t even rest because I felt that by resting, I wasn’t doing enough.
I became a Christian during university, but I never really grasped the most fundamental truth about God’s grace. I believed that God must be unhappy with me until I corrected my own sins. I never saw this as a problem or realised the unhealthy influences of my upbringing on my views of God.
This false belief led to my greatest spiritual struggles; procrastination and pornography.
My low self-esteem led me to form a habit of procrastination because I was constantly afraid that I could not perform up to my own standards.
Because I want people to like and accept me, I turned to pornography for comfort. I used to think that I struggled with porn because of lust, but through a renewal prayer session, I have come to realise that I turned to it for a sense of (false) comfort. I fantasise about being in a relationship where two people simply embrace each other’s presence.
In porn, there is no need to perform.
During my prayer session, I was asked to compare the passage in 1 Corinthians 13 about love with my parents’ form of love. Even though I had read it so many times, it didn’t strike me until then that my parents’ love did not reflect God’s perfect love. In fact, there was a lot of mismatch.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
It took me a while to accept that my parents’ love is not perfect.
It was a real wake-up call. I recognised several things. One, I had been idolising my parents’ love. Secondly, my relationship with my parents had affected me tremendously. Thirdly, my view of how God sees me had also been wrong all along. I had to go back to the Bible to see how God sees me.
Most of all, I don’t need to strive to win God’s love or approval.
Since renewal prayer, It has been an ongoing daily renewal of my mind based on God’s Word. Even so, it is easy to slip back into idolatry if we are not careful.
It’s been five months since my renewal prayer, and I have experienced a lot of pressure in my family business lately and felt the need to turn the situation around. Everything else became secondary – even my relationship with God. Work and success became idols in my life. I convinced myself that God wanted me to prosper at work. He simply became someone who helped me to achieve my goals, and my intention was no longer to have a close relationship with Him.
Talking to a friend over lunch, I realised that I had been using God to fulfill my earthly ambitions. It’s so easy to twist God’s Word to believe He wants me to have a successful career.
Unknowingly, I had put my work performance above God’s desires for me.
I realised that even if I do everything right in God’s eyes, God can still allow my family business to go down or for me to have a very humble career. Yes, we have our role to work but ultimately, the outcome is up to God. He can still fulfill His promises and that doesn’t stop us from being a good testimony for Him at work or other places.
After that lunch, I said a prayer to repent of my idolatry and surrendered the outcome of my career and business to God. This has eased my anxieties a lot. There is now less pressure on me to be the provider. Since then, some new business opportunities have come up. We can trust God to provide.
I now know that nothing should supersede building my relationship with God. Indeed everything in life should just be a means to achieve that goal. He is good and faithful.
To receive notifications of new posts from Teaching Humble Hearts, please subscribe here .