As a young student, I struggled because of the burden of dyslexia. I was constantly ridiculed for my inability to read at the level of my peers and was even placed in a class for the learning impaired for a year. My feeling of inadequacy was constant.
Multiple teachers and counselors told me, “You will not amount to anything.” I was bent on proving all of them wrong.
As an adult, this drive has manifested as overachievement. I had to know more, work longer and study harder than the next guy. I was in a constant search of that big brass ring of success. In addition to putting this pressure on myself, I found myself burdening my wife and kids with this insatiable hunger to achieve.
Thankfully, God’s word has much to say about this.
The overachiever’s temptation is to chase “perfection” through a perfect body, bigger salary, etc. Instead, Romans 12:2-3 encourages us to spend our time opening the Word and putting into practice what is written to become more like the only perfect person ever, Jesus Christ.
Similarly comforting are Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:10. Paul knew his job on earth and competed against no man. He didn’t struggle with his place on the corporate ladder. He was called to make disciples and convert the lost and was willing to suffer if it meant bringing God glory. His perspective was so in line with Christ.
When it comes to the way I view myself, my spouse and my children, 1 Samuel 16:7 gave me a spiritual slap to the back of the head. In that passage, God explains He is choosing the next king of Israel based on the content of the heart, not outward appearances.
…God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
This verse helps me to focus on the attributes that matter most to Him – a man’s heart. Or, more appropriate to me – my wife’s heart, my daughter’s heart and my son’s heart.
1 Corinthians 12:15-18 gave me more of God’s perspective. We are all given unique gifts, which are individually essential to the whole. I need to be less concerned with the constant effort to prove my value to others and instead use that wasted energy for the glory of His Kingdom. And I need to be satisfied with God’s purposes for my family, rather than being disappointed when they don’t meet my ambitions.