I’ve found myself really struggling with my relationship with God lately. For the last couple of months, I’ve basically seen myself grow into a selfish person who acted almost solely for self-reward.
It started one day in large group while leading worship. To my disappointment, I found that while playing, I could only focus on how I played and how I sounded. Too caught up in making sure that I didn’t make a mistake, my mind was unable to appreciate the immense blessing God had given me by being able to lead a group in worship. Last year, musical worship was one of my favorite things because I was always awestruck by how much joy and encouragement I was able to experience simply by praising Him through song. Now, instead of being able to focus my heart on Him, I merely find myself caring about my voice or my strumming.
As the quarter moved forward, I found my selfishness expanding beyond my role on the worship team. I started feeling alone in college. Soon, I was questioning my friendships and whether or not I actually had any friends. Any discussion I had on the matter led to me bemoaning the idea that no one actually cared about me and that I merely had “friends” because I happened to be around people. This of course, led to me thinking of myself as so selfish for only thinking about what I receive in friendships. I sat around waiting for someone to ask to talk to me or spend time with me while I, in turn, refused to reach out to those whom I considered my friends.
This, of course, led to further discontent in myself as a person and as a Christian since I was already struggling with complacency in my life. I looked back on my last year and noticed how little I’d actually grown since my first year when I first accepted Christ in my life. Back then I felt like I was so passionate about learning about what it meant to live a God-driven life and about how to strive to be Christ-like. Now, I was questioning myself as a Christian and dooming myself to Hell in my mind as I believed I was so undeserving of any of the many blessings God had given me through His grace. I was believing myself to not only be a horribly wicked and selfish person but to also be an ungrateful Christian who deserves Hell because of my inability to simply praise and trust in God. How simple an act it should be if I believe in God. Just trust in Him. Matthew 6:25-34, which everyone’s heard countless times, always came to mind. I didn’t doubt what the bible was telling me, that I should see how God cares for the lesser beings of the world such as the birds and the grass and that if He can treat such things with so much kindness and grace then surely He will care for me even more. But why was I struggling so much to take that idea to heart then?
But asking myself why I could not be content and anxious-free just made me feel even more selfish. Why did I refuse to be content when God had given me so much. Aside from sending His son to die for my sins, He had blessed me with so many gifts in life. I have a loving family, a great fellowship, and many other things. I have no reason to worry and no reason to think my life is bad. I decided to ignore the ninety-five-percent of my life that was perfect and to instead focus on the five-percent that I struggled with. My selfish heart shone brighter still. I entered a self-deprecating, downward spiral. I constantly berated myself for failing so much as a Christian, as a friend, and as a leader. I was desperately in need for help, yet my stubbornness prevented me from reaching out to friends. I decided to carry the burden solely on my shoulders, often not even looking to God for help.
That’s not to say I didn’t try to get better. Every prayer contained a plea to God to help me to put more faith in Him. I constantly prayed for help and acknowledged that I could not be a Christian without Him. But my heart remained selfishly stubborn and I continued to be discontent with my life. I continued to question my ability to care for my friends. On multiple occasions I feared that I might drift away from God. That my selfish heart would lead me to turn my back on Him and to accept a sinner’s life. It seemed like I didn’t even want to get better. I seemed to yearn to wallow in my discontentment. I refused to ask people for help. Even now as I write this, I just think about how incapable I was to ask for help. Instead, I chose the cowardly route by posting online through the veil of the internet instead of mustering the strength to speak to someone in person about my struggles.
Now, I find myself at the bottom of a hill. So low is my confidence in myself as a Christian that I feel like I’m almost starting anew. As I’m entering into my final stages of college and feeling like the real world, outside of school, is drawing ever closer, I desperately am desiring to grow spiritually. I really hope, and pray, that God will help me to develop my desire for Him and His word.
My only request is for anyone who reads this to pray for me, if you find yourself with a desire to. I know that only through Him can I hope to find my passion for Him. Only through Him do I have a chance to be saved and to be able to find contentment in my life knowing that I am not bearing the burden alone.