Confessions of an Achiever: Intro to Romans Series

Confessions of an Achiever: Intro to Romans Series

I always want to have all the answers, but today I reflect on the fact that I have none. That’s a hard truth for someone like me to want to admit. What do I have then? I have God’s word: it’s living and sharper than any double-edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12)

“Is not My word like fire” – this is the Lord’s declaration – “And like a hammer that pulverizes rock?”

Jeremiah 23:29

But you see, this is a hard truth for someone like me to handle. My whole life I’ve chased the next achievement, to be better, more competent, smarter, more capable and I chase and chase and never reach my goal of being the best.

Of course, my desires are my weakness, I strive to be seen and needed by others through my achievements and capability. I’ve spent my lifetime so far never being first. I’ve been a jack of all trades, quick to learn and capable of much, yet never the star who outshines everyone else. I’m always on the team and help it achieve great things, I often receive compliments on my intelligence or competency, and I’ve always quickly risen to management and leadership roles. Yet for all the gifts God has given me, it’s never enough. At some point I became tired of being the wallflower, the middle child, the middle leg of the relay, the one who worked hard and felt they always deserved more and couldn’t understand why their team achieves amazing things yet receives no credit when they were a large part of the achievement. It often leads me to independence and stubbornness, believing I only need me and my own abilities. It leads me to thinking if I pray harder, try harder then my ministry and life would be more fruitful.

In all these thoughts, there is no Gospel. There is no Jesus. There is me, in human form seeking human praise and glory. There is me thinking if I only worked hard and am competent, I could have the fulfillment and approval of others. They would finally need and see me. Here I am in a vicious circle of human efforts to achieve what will never be attainable. And times like now I realize why Paul had to continually encourage believers to be a new creation. We must seek being a new creation every day. Here are the lies I find myself believing, and if you don’t think identifying the lies is important than you’ll never see what motivates your behavior and what you need to place at the feet of Jesus.

  1. People do not need or want me
  2. I am only wanted/needed when I am competent and capable
  3. I need achievements to fulfill me and prove my worth
  4. I need people to see and recognize my capabilities and achievement or I have no worth 
  5. Therefore, I must always be better than myself and others because if I don’t stand out as the best then I am not valuable and unneeded
  6. Therefore, out of desperation to be noticed, I rely on my efforts and capabilities to stand out and have people see and need me

These are all issues that brought me to the feet of Jesus when I first believed in the salvation of Christ by faith alone. These are still issues I struggle with every day. When I first understood the gospel, I recited this verse at my baptism: Galatians 6:14. 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

My spirit is all to prone to pride and too often I want others to see me when I should only be focused on them seeing Christ! It is the book of Romans that brought me to Christ and it is to Romans I turn to now.

For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:3-4

You may not be achievement focused like me. You may not struggle with needing to be seen. You have different life experiences, childhood, and issues you deal with. But I want to spend a couple blog posts going through the book of Romans. These precious passages showed me how God called me to stop trying to earn His love, salvation, and earthly achievements. To become a new creation and not live in the flesh any longer, that I could rest and rely on the peace I have through Jesus. I need to re-read Romans to replace the lies I believe with the truths of Scripture.

This series won’t be a verse by verse exposition on the book of Romans, but an overview of key passages that I hope you will let speak to you. Like I said at the beginning of this post, I don’t have any of the answers. But God’s word does. It speaks to me and you and to our specific circumstance. We can trust all scripture to be holy and true.

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