Even in ministry, we measure our own success not by what God deems as successful, but we measure it against what other people are doing in ministry. The devil is sneaky, I’m telling you! He’s sneaky and even in our best intentions, even in those intentions to do those things that are absolutely full of God, he sneaks in—even in the smallest of ways—and uses that comparison trap in every area of life and it’s so destructive.
I was putting a lot of eggs in the basket of talent, the basket of my influence…eggs in the basket of my “whatever.” You have to come to grips with that, and I think you often see that because in ministry you have to come to the end of yourself. If you don’t, eventually you are just going to crash and burn a little bit harder. I only know that from personal experience! Even those who are not in ministry, with the growth of social media, etc. … I think about the struggles of inadequacy I had when I was growing up, yet I wasn’t bombarded every single day like today’s culture.
CCM: One of the things that Dennie said that I thought was kind-of profound was, “I know God and He knows me, and He’s perfecting me everyday.”
NG: That’s incredible, right?
CCM: As you were going through this discovery, what were some of the things that were going on inside of you that you have eventually given a voice to? Maybe it’s one of the topics in your new book, or something that that sticks out in particular?
NG: I think for me, one of the things I’ve really come to terms with over the last couple of years—and I do write about it in the book, because it’s where so many of my struggles stem from—and that’s fear. I really struggle with fear. Everybody knows that I’m afraid to fly because I post about it on social media all the time, because it’s a real tangible struggle. The truth is, I struggle with fear in just about every aspect of my life.
I can’t necessarily speak to men because I am not one, but … well, I think men [also struggle] but it just manifests itself in different ways—like throwing yourself into your work [for example]. So many men are workaholics because of that underlying fear of failing.
I can trace almost every struggle back to a fear of failure, or a fear of [whatever] … The fear of wondering if my kids are going to be screwed up, or if I just take one step to the right or one step to the left, I’m going to screw everything up. Most of it actually still stems from this idea that we can control our lives—with “this” and with “that,” we can control the outcome. I think that letting go of the idea that I’m actually in control and, instead, embracing [our inadequacies] is just what it means to trust and to have faith. I talk about that many times throughout the book.
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