Most of the time I have an accuser in my life. The accuser is a simple word that flits through my head from time to time most days, stealing my joy away, making me feel that I’ll never be loved because I can’t measure up. It affects my relationships with other people. It affects my relationship with God.
The simple world is “should.”
What I hear all day long in my inner monologue is that “I should…”
I should be thinner.
I should be prettier.
I should wear more makeup.
I should have a cleaner house.
I should be a better mother.
I should never raise my voice.
I should never lose my temper.
I should be more stern with my children.
I should push do more with our school days.
I should be able to work from home.
I should be able to make all my meals from scratch.
I should like to garden.
I should like to play dolls/figurines, etc.
I should be a better sister.
I should be a better wife.
I should be a better daughter.
I should be a better friend.
I should be a better Christian.
I should save more money.
I should do more activities with the kids.
I should be able to do more at the church.
I should pray more.
I should give more.
I should be more.
That’s a whole lot of shoulds. It’s like a heavy weight or boulder pushing down on me every day as I go about my day. It’s a constant refrain that ruins even my best attempts at being successful.
I realize what it comes from.
Often times, instead of feeding myself with God’s word, I find myself looking to Facebook, Pinterest, friends, family, the people at church and even strangers who I meet around town for approval. Because of this, I set up an impossible standard that weighs me down.
If I’m forever trying to measure up to an ideal of perfection I have to those around me, I’m never going to measure up. I’m never going to be free to live the life that God has planned for me.
So, lately, I find myself spending less time on Pinterest and less time on social media in general. I find myself reading fewer blogs. I find myself spending more time in God’s word. I realize that’s what I’m made for. I’m made for Him and for his purposes.
So, I asked God for some verses to help me combat the constant refrain of the “shoulds” and he answered my prayer. That’s actually the reason why I’m sharing this post today. I thought that if anyone stumbled across my page in a battle with who they feel they “should” be that maybe this post would be an encouragement to them.
The only way to combat the lies and the discouragement of the “should” is to fill yourself with God’s word. These are the verses that God has given me in my battle against the “shoulds.”
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.–John 10:10
This reminds me that when I’m under the weight of the “shoulds” and measuring myself by the standard of unattainable perfection, I’m not living the abundant life that Jesus promised to those of us who follow Him.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.–Psalm 139:14
God doesn’t think I’m junk. Why do I view myself as not good enough for anyone on my list?
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.–I John 3:2
When I was saved, I became the daughter of God. I will be like him some day, and I don’t know how that will be, but I know that I am NOW the child of God.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.–Romans 8:1
There is NOW NO CONDEMNATION for those of us in Christ. He is going to make us like him. There are going to be plenty of times when we fail, but we are not failures. We are meant to be overcomers.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.–Jeremiah 29:11
He doesn’t think bad things about us. He has thoughts of peace toward us.
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them–Hebrews 10:16
He doesn’t want us carrying around this junk that keeps us down or this unattainable standard that we can never live up to. He wants to write his laws in our hearts and minds…not as something we have to do but as something we do out of love for him.
There is no “should” that I need in my life other than the plans that God has for me.
There is no “should” too big for him to accomplish in my life were it his will for me to fulfill it.
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.–Luke 10:42
My job and my destiny is to follow him, and he will provide the strength for the rest of the road ahead. My choice needs to always be worship. That is something that will never be taken away from me and something that will always be there for me.
I may not always be the best at everything I set out to do, and there will be some days that I’ll stumble and fall, but my identity must be in Jesus, and not in what I feel like I “should” be doing.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:–I Peter 2:9
This is the identity that I should be choosing for my life and not the one where I “should” be and “can’t” be everything that everyone needs for me to be. And when I don’t know what to be, I can let Him be everything to me. Then I can rest in this verse.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.–2 Corinthians 12:9
After all, the only perfect person is God, and he is the one I want my life to point to.