I Don’t Need You, and We All Need Each Other


I don’t need for you to read this, I’m fine thanks.

I don’t need to see my stats climb throughout the day.

I don’t need for the link to be re-tweeted.

At least that’s my hope.

To be honest, often this is not me. As much as I want to write for myself and because I feel as if I need to write, not simply to be read, but it’s not always the case. There is another reason though, for me to not need any of these external affirmations. As a Christian, I believe that Jesus paid for everything on the cross. It is finished! is the banner under which to live. That means I do not have to waste so much time and energy trying to be measure up, to be good looking, to be clever, to have a popular blog. I am free to live without those restraints, to care for others, pursue my passions, and not be shackled to worldly expectations.

Do I always live this way? No, rarely in fact. I want to be liked, for people to think I’m funny, to be popular, and on and on. I stress out if I’m not picked, or if a relationship is in conflict (likely in conflict because I want to be right). Friday, a group of men gathered to bless a friend who is getting married. While the others spoke, I barely listened to their wisdom as I formulated my own words. I thought of what would serve him well, but also how I could sound smart and spiritual. It’s ridiculous for me to feel this way!

It is finished, we are saved, it’s past-tense. Already done. To even say “I’m working on it” is unnecessary, because God doesn’t need that out of me. Stop trying so hard to measure up! You’re good, your life is taken care of, don’t try to be good enough any more and follow Jesus. Pursue your what is in your heart, help others, and don’t let people’s opinions, good or bad, define who you are.

But We Still Need Each Other

We cannot deny though that human beings are social animals, and we all crave that personal touch. I am most fully myself in the company of people I know and love. Everything above was not meant to say that we don’t need family or friends. They are essential. We are made for community, large or small, where we can help one another, keep each other accountable, rebuke and affirm, living together throughout all of life’s joys and sorrows.

The difference is that while we are meant to live together, we should not rely on anyone as our primary source of comfort and purpose. Our identity comes from God alone, in who he calls me to be. Everything else; husband, son, brother, camp director, writer, runner, they are secondary at best.

So mainly I hope this blog and my writings speak to you and help in your daily life. The topics are varied because I’m finding a voice. I’m writing because I enjoy telling stories and sharing my life. I look forward to the time I’m blessed with. If God wills it, I’ll continue to live and do this or that (James 4:15).

But I’m done trying to measure up.

Note: A large part of this post was inspired by a sermon by Pastor Tullian Tchividjian, of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The sermon in a part of his “Gospel of Works” series, part 8. You can find it on the iTunes podcenter if you’re interested.  

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “I Don’t Need You, and We All Need Each Other

  1. Yes, yes, yes! “What will you do now that you don’t have to do anything?” Great thoughts Matt, and thanks for sharing how our awareness of grace will continually remind us that truly, Jesus’
    declaration of “it is finished” can be our daily mantra. He has done it, he is good, he is sovereign over our lives. Also that “wherever real grace flows, real brokenness was there first.”
    We will need Jesus to remind us He is enough, along with gospel-mirroring friends and family and community. I love you!

  2. Pingback: Happy Birthday Mom, 15 Reasons Why You’re Awesome | Matt Ragland

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s