How Overcompensation Leads to Sin
I am assuming that all of us have overshot the mark we were aiming for both, practically and metaphorically. In our attempt to be seen as loving, we run past the mark by telling our kids, “because I said so” in our attempts to be the authority figure, or we shy away from speaking a true gospel message.
I know I’ve probably sparked interest in some of you with the whole “I said so” piece, but hopefully, we will meet each other at the Word in agreement on this topic by the end of this blog. Let’s continue.
Many of us have either made mistakes in our lives or have been hurt by someone else’s decisions. Our mistakes and being hurt have motivated us to flee from making those same decisions (again). More simply, you may be misrepresenting what you are trying to portray. Let me explain.
As a parent, you hopefully see yourself as your child’s authority (because you are). In your attempts to be seen as an authority, you may miss the mark of being helpful in your rulemaking by simply answering with “because I said so.” You may say, “well, I’m the parent, and that’s the only thing I should have to say.” Let me caution you.
Being the authority figure isn’t the only goal here. More of a goal is to lead our children closer to Christ for their good and His glory. If that is our goal, shouldn’t we explain that to our children in our rulemaking? And if we realize that our rules do not lead them closer to Him, we should evaluate our hearts and rearrange those rules that we have set in place.
In our attempts to honor God by acting as the authority figure in our home, it is possible to overcompensate, make authority our only aim, and neglect who God has called us to be. Even God (who doesn’t owe us anything) gives us plenty of reasons for why He does the things He does.
Let us do the same for our children. As shown before, this “missing the mark” happens within parenting styles and in all styles of biblical teaching.
If you’re like me, you have heard messages preached that were not loving. Truths are found in these messages; however, they are not delivered with care. For some people, because of these unloving messages, they don’t care about the topic of hell. In the running from the lack of love they endured from others, they end up not being loving to the people they are trying to care for.
How? By avoiding biblical truth and confrontation. People hate confrontation (including me at times) but let me tell you something.
THE BIBLE IS CONFRONTATIONAL.
If the Bible weren’t confrontational, the religious leaders wouldn’t have mocked, beaten, and killed our Savior (Who is risen, by the way). Furthermore, to be loving to others, we should teach the full truth, whether they think it is loving or not. At this point, I’ll refer you to my previous blog posting, “The god of Approval.”
The Start to a Solution
If you have read the previous article before or just now taking a glance at it, you may see where I’m going next. In our “overshooting the mark,” frequently, our motivator is not God. BUT DON’T BE OVERLY BURDENED.
Realizing this is helpful in our efforts to live for the King. You see, if your attempt to be seen as loving lies in the eye of yourself or your neighbor instead of God, then your aim isn’t to please Him; it’s to please man (Gal. 1:10).
In this, there is sin. Now hear me; I hope to give you the truth that leads you closer to Christ. I am in no way trying to point fingers. I care for you.
Going further, frequently, we haven’t missed what we were aiming for at all.
We were aiming at the wrong mark. Often, we have put church authority and personal authority over biblical authority, going off what we think is best or feels right, rather than reading and practicing what God commands.
The word is profitable for teaching, correction, reproof, and training in righteousness, not our feelings (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
In instances, as I mentioned before, straying away from preaching about hell because of the horrible memories you have, what’s disguised as loving to your neighbor is you avoiding truth, disobeying God, and putting “The god of Approval” on the throne once again. The god of self is what you’re bowing to because your feelings are more central to your focus. You are aiming at the wrong target.
I hope you see that God has called us to be thinkers. (Luke 10:27)
At first, I was worried about sounding scatterbrained in this posting. I wanted to make sure I had a clear, central focus for you to understand (and I do). But I also hope you see that even within the central focus of “missing the mark by overcompensating,” you see that there are many targets to aim for and many intentions for why we aim where we do.
Depending on our intentions, knowledge, and efforts, we can either honor God or miss the mark entirely.
The Resting Point
Keeping God as our central focus and honoring Him as our primary aim should be the goal. I’m not saying that we will never miss this mark again. But we have a much better shot at living lives that proclaim Him and His glory if He is our central focus. My prayer for you is that you will not merely seek to run away from things that hurt you or to run towards something that you think is best…but that you run to abide in Jesus (John 15).
“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 ESV
Grace and Peace, Church