Wednesday, June 9, 2010


i've been in crunch mode the last few days. finals week and flying to boise and starting work all seem to do that to a person. i can't stop making lists.

but i just wanted to share something, ever so briefly. i've been re-reading velvet elvis by rob bell, and one thing that he talks about is being a slave to expectations. we internalize all these little messages over the years of how we think we're supposed to talk and think and laugh and dress and work. and we end up being a slave to those unspoken expectations. they drive us to do things and unless we uncover them, they'll rule our lives.

rob said his phantom was called "superpastor." superpastor is always available to talk and he visits the hospital when anyone is sick and knows every person's name and spends hours studying the Bible and praying but manages to be the ultimate family man as an example to his congregation. etc. you get the idea. it sounds silly when it's spelled out on the page like this, because of course that is unrealistic--no man can be all those things at once and remain sane. but the underlying expectations driving this behavior are very real. we feel so much pressure to be a certain way, and we experience a lot of shame and guilt when we feel ourselves falling short of these unspoken standards.

my supers:

these things drive me and explain a lot of my behavior and a lot of my feelings of not being "enough." and i'm beginning to ask God how we can root those things out. because my job, as rob explains, is the relentless pursuit of who God made me to be. not to fulfill anyone else's expectations, including my own. i want to be who i was intended to be, and i want to feel free of shame, of not feeling good enough, which happens when i fall short of these unrealistic "super" standards haunting me in my head. i want to experience the freedom that living into your identity in Christ brings.

what are your supers?


  1. oh rob bell. i disagree with him a lot theologically but he has a lot of truth.

    This is a subject i've been thinking about since fall quarter.


  2. I like this Sarah.
    Actually something very similar stood out to me in Mere Christianity.
    C.S. Lewis talks about becoming a new man (or woman). A true personality in Christ. He goes on to say, there is no real personality apart from Christ, simply desires, and a meeting place for trains of events. He goes on to say: "Most of what I call 'me' can be very easily explained. it is when I turn to Christ, when I give myself up to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own." there are simply no real personality's except in God. And here comes the hard part, I can never find my real personality until I can forget about it all togeather, it comes when we look outside of ourselves at Him.

    I think this ties in nicely to your thoughts on expectations. That we will always be a slave to those expectations which stem from the 'me' the personality we think we need to have, until we let it all go and look at Christ. For there we find the true 'me'...Him.

    I like word pictures: here is C.S. Luise's: you give a man salt who has never tasted it, and tell him it is used in every dish. He might believe that in that case all the dishes would taste the same, because what he just tasted was so strong it would kill the taste of everything else. However, we all know that salt does the opposite instead of killing the taste of the egg, it actually brings it out. it is hard to distinguish it's real taste until salt is added.
    Much like a personality, it is not truly unique till God becomes the main ingredient bringing out our true self's.

    Ah...I like that. :)

    ~Tiffany A. :)

  3. superjoboriented

    my sister just graduated with a masters and got a fellowship at OHSU and was chosen out of a nationwide pool of candidates. i feel a little...well, underaccomplished because i know i will probably never be that charismatic or driven to push myself to succeed in those standards. so perhaps i should change it to superunmotivated. but i know my job or academic degree shouldn't define who i am, but my passions and gifts from the lord will drive me to follow his perfect will, even if that i doesn't involve becoming superfamous or superaccomplished.