You Will Never Be Your Best Self…Unless

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Chapter 3 in Crazy Love is all about Pastor Chan trying to get us to realize that God loves us.

Yesterday in Sunday School I discussed another reason why we can’t deal with this idea.

The Jonah Complex.

This is a fairly well-known psychological term based on the Old Testament character Jonah who ran from God.  God sent Jonah on a mission to Nineveh to warn the people of His impending wrath for their behavior but Jonah does not want to go.  Instead he goes in the opposite direction.  He runs from the work that God gives him to do.

Psychologists have taken this story and applied it to the common problem that all people have, the tendency to settle into a rut, living life as if it will go on forever, wasting your time in the comfort zone.

Abraham Maslow coined these ideas based on his hierarchy of needs pyramid that explains that man must take care of lower order needs in order to meet higher order needs like esteem needs or self-actualization.  In fact this is where the Jonah Complex comes in.  People will never be self-actualized because they are too busy taking care of lower order needs;  paying the bills, taking responsibility for their family etc.

The excuses go deeper.  People don’t dare live their dreams because they are too worried about being perceived as selfish.  They are afraid to be arrogant.  Victor Frankl said regarding the Jonah Complex “What is to give light must endure burning.”  In other words, to grow is to deal with change, pain and uncertainty.  Some people do not have supportive people around them; in fact, they have the opposite.  They have people in their lives who want them to stay the same.  Why?  Because if they change, others begin to question their own lives.  They think maybe I need to do something to be a better person?  Who is this new friend?  I don’t know how to deal with them.

Believe it or not, there is such a thing as fear of greatness.  If you self-actualize, you may be put up on a pedestal and that is a very uncomfortable place for people to exist.  Too much attention and too much notoriety can be a scary thing.

What do we do?

We stay in the rut.

I have quoted this before but I am going to throw it in again.  A.W. Tozer says “A man by his sin may waste himself, which is to waste that which on earth is most like God.  That is man’s greatest tragedy and God’s heaviest grief.”

Pastor Chan lost his mother in his childbirth.  He lost his father at age 12.  Pastor Chan has a sense of urgency.  He admits in his book, we are only here for a brief time and we should not waste our time.

Henry Drummond, the great Scottish evangelist said “I pass through this world but once.  Any good therefore, that I can do, or any kindness I can show any human being, let me do it now.  Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.”

Have you ever wondered why you are alive on earth right now?

Have you ever wondered what your purpose in life is?

Have you ever wondered what God has in store for you?

Are you running in the opposite direction from the work God has for you to do, like Jonah?

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

I don’t believe God created me to live in a rut or a comfort zone.

I don’t believe He intended that for you either.

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