In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

Typically a fairly introspective person, twice a year I become especially so.  New Year’s Day and my birthday each have always served as bi-yearly evaluations for where I think I “should be.”

You see I’m a bit goal oriented.  Other appropriate words might be “focused”, “driven”, “passionate” um….”obsessed”.  I carry around with me an invisible measuring stick with which I constantly measure my life determining within my heart whether I have succeeded in living it to the fullest.  In the end, whenever it is that I find myself at the doorway of meeting my Lord face to face, I hope to be able to honestly say that I have no regrets.

I think I have come to recognize this trait as a mixed blessing.  Innocently bred, it originated from a heart of thankfulness for the life I have been given.  Realizing the abundance of the gift I didn’t want to spend one day wasting it.  Make every day count, reach for the stars, never give up, keep on keepin’ on…. motivational mottos are like fuel for my engine.

On the other hand, this constant need to evaluate growth toward goals set high leaves much room for the enemy to whisper in my ear.  A dog with no new tricks he has often found a foothold in my life with the “should-bes”

In His accusatory tone he offers:

“You should be further along than you are.” (in graduate school, in my career, in my walk with Christ).

“You should be a better ____________ (wife, mother, Christian, friend, student)- fill in the blank with whatever I happen to be feeling least secure about that day.

“You should be beyond a place where that still bothers you.”  (anytime I’m flustered, frustrated or fearful).

“You should be everything you are not.”

How many times have I fallen into that hole and had to dig myself back out? I should have seen that coming!

It is important for both you and I to remember that goals are good, important even-  but only as long as they are balanced with truth.

When the enemy comes at me with his should -bes these days, I come back at him with some should-bes of my own.

I remind Him from where the Lord has brought me.  He has redeemed my life from destruction (Psalm 49:15).

You see, according to statistics:

I should be a high school dropout.

I should be married to someone who is unkind to me.

I should be a rotten mom.

I should be an addict.

I should be dead.

I should be going to hell.

Anytime the enemy tries to accuse me of not being where I should be, I now remind him of where I should be, where I could be but bless the Lord where I am not because of the abundant love, boundless grace and endless mercy of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

How about you?  Are you too familiar with the should- bes?  Does this phrase threaten to light the fire of low self worth or value within your soul?

Perhaps the most important truth doesn’t lie in where you should be at all, but instead in who you are.

You are a Daughter of the King.  (1 John 3:2)

You are unconditionally loved and accepted by Him (Eph. 1:4-6)

You are chosen (1 Peter 2:9)

If we can keep in mind who we are we will be better prepared not to allow the should- bes to wreak havoc in our soul.

Father, thank you for who you have made me in and through Jesus Christ.  I am so thankful for your unconditional love and acceptance.  Thank you Lord that who I am is never overruled by who I should be.



Filed under Christian Growth

2 responses to “Should-Be

  1. Sharla

    Powerful post Tanya! I also struggle with the “shoulds”.

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