It is quite possible you are filled with stress and anxiety, not because you are trying to please God or even other people. Instead, you are trying to quiet the voice in your head.
Deep down, you want a spectacular body, to be a terrific spouse and amazing parent while having a well-informed, Spirit-guided, servants’ heart as a believer. You want a perfect house, a nice ride, a well-manicured lawn with a rose garden to match. You want to live farm to table with homegrown vegetables, chickens, cows, and two well-trained dogs. You want to be involved in your school, your Church, and the local civic group. You want your life to look good to the Jones across the street and on social media.
No one told you your life should be this way, but you have seen enough TV shows, magazine articles, and Pinterest posts to know how things should look. You have heard enough sermons and lessons at Church to know everything you should be doing. If you stop to ask your friends, they will tell you all the ways they are improving their life, and you will be left feeling like you are falling behind.
Self-applied pressure is good if it motivates you to be a better person. All of us need the occasional kick in the pants to keep us from getting lazy. A regular dose of inspiration is required to keep us moving forward in our faith, family, and toward the desired future.
On the other hand, self-applied pressure is terrible when it leads to guilt, a lack of self-worth, and depression. There should be times when you should be resting and enjoying the moment, but you cannot because that inner voice drives you to get busy. When you end each day feeling defeated, then you are not walking the right path.
One key to having a joy-filled life is learning to apply the right amount of pressure to produce positive results. Everyone wants to see you growing, but usually, no one wants it more than you. It would be best if you leaned into the motivation that keeps you improving while avoiding the emotions of self-defeat. It is a delicate balance that takes a lifetime to learn, and many never find it.
Occasionally we need to be reminded that we are enough. We love, and we are loved. When a day is not spectacular, and we let ourselves down again, maybe we need to change our expectations to quiet that voice inside. If you don’t, you will never have the joy God intended.