The lie of just. This lie has become the narrative of all too many lives, at times, even my own. When I’m around wise and accomplished people in their 40s, 50s and 60s, my narrative becomes “I’m just in my 30s.” When I’m in a circle of male leaders, I might say, “I’m just a woman.” When I’m among those who work in high-paying, well-respected careers, I may curl back and whisper, “I’m just a pastor.” It even creeps up when I’ve spent time in a big city and I mutter, “I’m just from Sacramento.”
Depending on who I’m talking to, who I’m surrounded by or where I’m at, the narrative shifts. I’ve found the lie of “just” to be a shrinking back, a denial, a shame-ridden story that minimizes the God-potential in me. Has this ever been your narrative? Have you believed the lie of just? If you have, it’s likely you have been living under the level of potential God has for you. Believing in the lie of just will only lead you to discontentment and an even greater lie – insignificance. The truth is, we are meant to live a life of God contentment and eternity-impacting significance.
Let’s overcome the lie of just. Here’s how:
- Tell yourself the truth. With all the thoughts and information that bombard our minds and then filter through our pain, insecurity and self-doubt, it’s hard to know what’s really true. All of us hear our thoughts enough in a day – many of them being toxic. Lately, I’ve been listening to the YouVersion Bible App. I’ve been listening to the words that God left for us to experience Him. We’re better off when we hear what He has to say about us. Create a habit of listening to the Bible – His truth – and repeating those truths to yourself.
- Get to know your Creator. The creator of the universe created you on purpose, with purpose and for a purpose (Psalm 139:14-17). Until you get to know the person who had that intention, you may never truly understand that revelation. There’s many ways to get to know your Creator, but sometimes the best way to do it is to get away from man-created atmospheres. Get out in nature where there is less bustle and noise that distract us from the natural, simple and uncomplicated things of life. If it’s hard for you to get away, find times in your day more conducive to connecting with God. I find the mornings to be quieter and still. Simply waking up before my kids and the rest of the neighborhood helps me focus on meditating and hearing from my Creator.
- Find a truth-believing, truth-telling community. It’s easy to find communities that believe in God and His truth, but what we need is a truth-telling community. We can only sit around in a group talking about God’s word for so long until we have to be held accountable to applying His truth to our lives. For me, that’s allowing certain people I trust into specific areas in my life. I have specific accountability partners in the following areas:
- Devotional life
- Health + nutrition
- Marriage + family + relationships
- Sermon preparation
- Leadership development
Your areas may look different, but whatever they are, find someone you will allow into that area, in which he or she can speak truth. If you can’t find someone for each area, find at least one person that can address those areas you determine need accountability.
- Do what JUST YOU are called to do. Sometimes the temptation of overcoming the lie of just is to become overly ambitious. In our own strength, we either do MORE or EVERYTHING. You know the old saying, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” If we strive to do more and/or everything, we move outside of God’s enabling grace and find ourselves busy – depleted, exhausted and unfulfilled. If we’re not tired, we’re on an emotional roller coaster. The lie shifts from a self-deprecating just to an over-confident, sometimes self-important yes-to-everything. When the scripture says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” we must discern and pray on what “all” means. All is God’s will for my life. All is limited to what He wants, not everything I want. All is keeping my eyes on the lane he set me on, not wishing to be in other lanes, trying to be and do what God has called others to be and do. If you’ve been listening to the lie of just, then the trap of comparison is right around the corner.
The problem with the lie of just is that your just is not enough. The truth is, you are enough. It’s impossible for God to create something less than great or less than enough. So, do what just you can do. Stop striving, do you. When you do, your JUST becomes ALL God wants you to be and you’ll realize that who the master Creator created is enough. Defeat the lie of just, fulfill the God-potential in your life, and we will impact eternity in ways we never imagined we could!
Chrissy Cole is the Lead Pastor and Creative Pastor or Project Church. She loves co-leading with her husband, while joyfully raising their three children (Canaan-5, Cai-3, Charli Ann-1). As a family, their vision is to lead others into life and freedom in Jesus Christ.