Achiever? … or OVERachiever?

Chances are, you are – or know someone who is –
driven to succeed. Perhaps you manage a large department, or lead worship, or
write inspirational fiction, or even manage a very active family life. With all
of those achievements, it can be very easy to spin out of control.

Author and speaker John Ortberg, in his book The
Me I Want to Be
, writes, “God did not take away Paul’s desire to achieve; rather, he
harnessed it so that Paul could serve others.” Before receiving the message from
the Lord to do His work, Paul was full of worldly ambition and worked
tirelessly to persecute the very church he later promoted. Not only did Paul’s
life change, but so did the course of the history of the world. He helped begin
a worldwide movement that has lasted thousands of years and impacted countless
lives in unfathomable ways.
God put the desire to succeed within us. Ecclesiastes 9:10 states: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do
it with all your might.”
It is how we focus that desire that counts.
When we focus our attention on God and work for
Him, we produce good fruit. We use our ambition to not only achieve for
ourselves, but to do good for others. Furthermore, when we redirect our work to
reflect God’s will for our lives, we stay away from the errant triggers of
dishonesty, comparison and a workaholic nature. Instead, we use our God-given
gifts to further His kingdom in a way that keeps our focus on Him. The end
result is that everyone – our own family and friends, the spiritually restless
and unchurched, and mature Christians alike – can enjoy the fruits of our
labor.
God put the desire to achieve within us, and we
thank Him for this great gift by using it for His glory! Take the time today to
put your ambition under a microscope. Examine where you may need to upgrade
your achievement desires and center them in Christ.
WARNING: Errant desire triggers include the
behavioral tendency to become a workaholic, an underlying dishonesty about
certain issues, and habitual comparisons to the achievements of others.

Motivational
speaker and author Mark Driscoll encourages us this way: “
The
root of an overachiever’s problem is a worship problem. They put their work,
money, power, prestige or fame in the place of God. We need to get past the
fruit and into the root. You can grab all these weeds but if you don’t pull the
root, it always comes back. By examining the root of the problem and placing it
at the foot of the cross, we turn our need to succeed into something worthy of
God’s delight. In this way, we move from worldly ambition to Godly achievement.”

Think about what the Bible tells us in
Ephesians 2:10.
Why do you suspect that God asks us to view ourselves
as His masterpiece? What assumption can you draw as to why Christ wants us to
believe he created us “anew” in him?
Ephesians 2:10 (New
Living Translation)
For we are God’s masterpiece.
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned
for us long ago.
The great thing about achievement
is that we want to achieve.
Thankfully, as we center our achievements in Christ, we seek the right
type of goal
to win the right type of prize.

 
# # #

Sandra
D. Bricker
is a best-selling and award-winning author of laugh-out-loud
romantic comedy for the Christian market. Her most popular series (that started
with Always the Baker Never the Bride) will conclude this spring with Always
the Baker FINALLY the Bride
, which is now available for pre-order at Amazon.

Sandie leads a team of writers
in creating the Living It Out daily
Bible study for CedarCreek Church. Today’s devotion is
based on the Living It Out study on the desire to achieve. If you enjoyed it,
feel free to check out the daily studies by e-mail or audio podcast by clicking
HERE.