3. Your identity is wrapped up in what you do, not who you are in Christ.
If you allow yourself to think that your worth is determined by what you do or don’t do—the quality of a message you deliver on Sunday, the success of your kids in school, your ability to convince a certain friend to come to church—you are going to live on a roller coaster of emotional ups and downs.
When “things” are going well, you’ll feel OK. But the minute things don’t go your way, you’ll feel like a failure.
It is only when your identity is firmly rooted in Christ—that you were made in His image, that He loves you deeply and wants what is good for you, and that nothing you do (or fail to do) can change that—that you’ll be able to experience freedom from your successes and failures.
Until your identity is in Christ, you’re vulnerable to an emotional hijacking.
4. Your definition of success is anything less than full obedience to Christ.
If you are tracking your success based on the number of people who show up on a Sunday morning or how many promotions you get at work or what people say about your house, or your clothes, or your car, you will either feel deflated or puffed up. Neither is good!
Instead, define your success by how obedient you’re being to what God has asked you to do. Success is all about obedience to Christ.
How can you know what God is asking you to do?
Joshua 1:8 (NIV) says, “This book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Read your Bible. Pray. Get quiet with God. Listen, and He will give you the wisdom you’re asking for.
5. You don’t have friends who will rejoice and mourn with you.
Romans 12:15 (NIV) says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.”
So much of the time, we mourn with those who rejoice, and rejoice over those who mourn. How sick is that? If we are constantly comparing ourselves to others, and making life a competition, we’ll find ourselves caught in this trap.
But true, lasting, life-giving friendship is born out of a space where we mourn with those who mourn, and rejoice with those who rejoice.
And with this hedge of protection around us—with friends who are willing to help us carry the weight of grief and joy—we’re much less likely to fall victim to emotional attack.
Like I mentioned in my last post, many of us are leaving ourselves vulnerable to emotional hijackings without even realizing it. This is not a problem limited to new Christians or non-Christians.
This is a problem plaguing leaders and pastors and people of all kinds.