Doubt and Pride

When I'm at work, I tend to think about things at home. Did that bill get paid? When can I find time to clean? Should I have done those few chores before I left this morning?

But when I'm at home, I tend to think about things at work. Will that source be available for an interview on Monday or should I have done it before I left? Did I make all the corrections in that story or did some slip through? Was my writing good enough this week to prevent anyone from being disappointed?

This cycle of thinking, worrying and doubting is a dangerous, ugly place to be. It's unproductive and spirals into nothingness - literally. It doesn't help you come up with new and wonderful ideas. It doesn't help you remember what needs to be done. And it definitely doesn't help you feel better about what you're actually accomplishing during the day.

God never intended for our brains to be whirling constantly. This is self inflicted and pointless for the task at hand. How can we give glory and honor and praise to the Lord when we can't even shut our minds off for a few minutes to focus on Him?

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Anything beyond these two instructions is vanity, writes the author of Ecclesiastes. It's futile and destructive and prideful. So here's what all this thinking in circles comes down to:  

1. Worry leads to doubt, and doubt destroys whatever common sense you might have.

2. Self-doubt goes against God's view of you because He delights in you.

3. People-pleasing is a poor position. You can never accomplish it, no matter how hard you try.

4. It all comes down to pride, that nasty, icky word. Pride tells us we have to be better, stronger, faster, more efficient in all things. Scripture doesn't say that, God doesn't say that and we shouldn't be telling ourselves that.

But if we peel away all the extra stuff, all the thinking and worrying and being prideful, we actually end up with those two instructions flashing at us in neon.

Fear God and keep His commandments. If we're spending time in study, we'll understand His expectations and know what those commandments are. And if we're spending time in prayer, building a relationship with our Heavenly Father, we'll understand the healthy fear of reverence before an omnipotent God.

These two thoughts can fill our minds, driving away all the doubt and pride that clutter up our daily life.

What a peaceful place it is in the presence of God.


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