The decision to make a change can be a frightening thing, and the enemy will come at us even stronger than before. Remember, a free person is a dangerous person to the enemy, so he will try to destroy our progress through self-sabotage.
I am a recovering self-saboteur. As I have overcome this bad habit, I have noticed a few reasons we may find it easy to fall prey to sabotaging our own best intentions
We believe we’re not worth it, or we don’t deserve it.
This is a common lie of the enemy, especially among women. Relational sabotage is wrapped up in this lie: “Go ahead, settle for what is less than best. You’re not worth the wait… the trouble… the work. You do not deserve to feel loved… pretty… fought for… pursued.” Fill in the blank. If we fall for this lie, we will self- sabotage by selling ourselves short. If no one has ever told you, I’m telling you now: You are worth the fight and the time it takes to make a change.
We allow our feelings or emotions to dictate our actions.
Most women, and maybe a few men, know this all too well. Many of our goals, dreams and visions are delayed, destroyed or dismissed when we allow our emotions to control us. Don’t get me wrong, feelings and emotions can be good things. God made us emotional, but our emotions and feelings can sabotage us if we do not bring them under His authority, focusing them in a positive way. A Bible reading plan I followed recently talked about our emotions and how they travel 80,000 times faster than our thoughts travel. Knowing this can help us understand why we sometimes act on our feelings even when we know the right things to do. Ever wonder why the Bible says to “Guard your heart.”? (Proverbs 4:23) Because from it springs our feelings and emotions. It is not only talking about guarding it from outside predators, but also guarding the emotions that may want to come out of it, if they are not in line with God’s leadership. A mentor of mine likes to say, “feelings are rarely our friends.” When we allow our feelings to control us we never know what may happen or where we may end up. Finding freedom from insecurity is not a practice in feelings, but a practice in choice.
Of course, it is easier to skip our Bible reading, not practice our sport, not eat healthy, craft or art, or sit down and accomplish what God has called us to do. It takes a lot less effort to let our thoughts run wild, or our mouths say what they want. Doing what we know we need to do is the harder thing. If it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be worth it. We have to get off the couch of our mind and stand up for our freedom. No one else is going to do it for us! We must not allow laziness to cripple something God is calling us to do. “What one does is what counts. Not what one had the intention of doing.”—Picasso.
Fear of change.
Oftentimes, it is this fear that keeps us taking one step forward and two steps back. We impede our progress because we fear how progress might change our lives. We fear failure, but we also fear success. We keep ourselves in our comfort zones, even though we are screaming to get out. We are playing tug-of-war with our flesh and spirit and the one who is going to win is the one we feed more. If our flesh is stronger, we will never change. We will stay in the prison of insecurity because that is where it is safe. It is what we have always known. As He asked the man waiting to be healed, Jesus is asking us, “Do you want to be free?” We keep ourselves living an okay life, when God has an unimaginably magnificent life waiting for us on the other side of change. Yes, change is scary. It is the unknown that stretches itself out across the expanse of our mind and keeps us from taking that first step forward. It is okay to feel afraid, but step out anyway. It is only when we step out of our comfort zone— step out of our bondage— that we will discover the life God designed for us all along.