Posted in Character, Faith, Servant Leadership

Do You Struggle with the Messiah Complex?

What do David Koresh, Jung Myung Seok, Claire Bennet, and Batman have in common? At first glance this group may seem to be quite diverse. However, underneath their differences lies a solidly imbedded Messiah Complex.

A person with the Messiah Complex believes that he is the savior of a group, event, time period, or in radical cases, the world. In some instances, he may not claim to be the savior, but his followers may treat him as such.

The Messiah Complex has many forms. It may rear its ugly head through someone like Adolf Hitler. Fortunately, most of the time it is not so extreme. It is usually much more subtle. If not careful, even the best servant leaders can be fooled by its delusions.

During my experience as a leader, at home and in the workplace, I have caught myself entertaining (and acting on) some of these thoughts.

My gifts are extraordinary and rare.

If something is going to get done, I have to do it.

Nobody else understands the situation better than I do.

I know God is in control, but He needs me to do the work.

I’m the only one with the power to fix this problem.

The result of my thoughts and actions has been frustration, overwhelming stress, anxiety, and exhaustion. Frustration and stress from working too many hours without rest and not sharing the load with others. Anxiety and exhaustion from carrying too much weight on my shoulders and enduring too many sleepless nights. This is clearly not the Lord’s will for those He loves and has called to partner with Him as leaders.

I’m not advocating giving up the pursuit of excellence or resigning responsibility. However, there is something wrong when we believe that success of a mission rests solely and squarely on us.

What about you? Do you recognize any of these symptoms? Could it be that you too struggle with elements of the Messiah Complex?

We thrive in life and leadership when we walk in humility, realizing everything we are and accomplish come from God. Jesus Christ is clearly the only Messiah.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you (Romans 12:3, NIV).

There is great assurance in realizing that we are part of the magnificent Body of Christ. Jesus Christ is the Head.

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy (Colossians 1:17-18).

We can be free from carrying the weight of responsibility, knowing that the outcome is ultimately up to the Lord.

Cast all of your cares on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps (Proverbs 16:9, NLT).

Heavenly Father, thank You for calling me to lead, and for the grace and humility to fulfill Your call. Reveal to me when I place too much trust in myself. Help me to rely on You, trusting You as the One True Savior. In Jesus’ name.

Posted in Faith, Personal Development

How to Stop Worry In Its Track

My husband was late. Thirty minutes had passed since his typical arrival, and I hadn’t heard a word from him. His cell phone went straight to voice mail and he hadn’t responded to my texts. I tried to busy myself and not worry about him. My hands were active, but my mind was racing with possible tragic scenarios.

Perhaps he was in an accident.
Or maybe he had a heart attack and nobody was around.
Or he was involved with a younger woman.
Or he had been mugged and shot.

I settled on the health issue and dismissed the other situations. Before my husband walked through the door, I had imagined myself as a widow with no place to live and no place to go. When he arrived, he was greeted by an emotional wreck. I had allowed worry to run roughshod through my mind and it had taken control.

Worry—(noun) the act of tormenting oneself with or suffering from disturbing thoughts.

Worry starts out subtly and, if left unchecked, can grow into enormous proportions. There is nothing about worry that is positive. It is problem oriented, focuses on the negative, presumes worse case scenarios, and is without hope. The root of worry is a lack of trust in God and His goodness, or what He has promised in His Word.

Some people seem to think that worry simply can’t be helped. “It’s a normal part of life and everyone does it.” Contrary to the opinion of these habitual worriers, we can ward off worry. It does not have to rob us of peace and health. We can thrive, even as we face difficult situations.

The following are steps that I recommend to stop worry in its tracks.

Be aware of your worries. Before you can stop worry, you need to recognize when you are worrying. Some people wear a rubber band on their wrist and snap it every time they realize they are entertaining anxious thoughts. Some people make tally marks in a journal or electronic device. It may surprise you how often you worry. In addition, take note of the things you worry about. What are the areas that cause the greatest amount of worry?

Turn worries into prayers. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” As soon as you recognize that you are worrying, refocus your attention on the Lord.

Declare Scripture over your problems. God’s Word is powerful and transforms our thinking. Find promises that address your situation and speak them out loud when worry rears its ugly head. Choose to believe what the Lord says rather than entertaining worry.

Learn to relax. Prolonged worrying can have significant effect on health. It impairs the immune system and can cause symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, headaches, fatigue, rapid heart rate, muscle tension, inability to concentrate, and more. Practice deep breathing techniques and meditate on God’s Word to relieve tension. Find activities that help you unwind.

Don’t allow worry to steal from you. By retraining your thought patterns, you can turn your concerns over to the Lord before they grow into worry and anxiety.

In what areas of your life are you prone to worry? What steps can you take today to stop worry in its tracks and walk in God’s peace and calm assurance?

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me. Teach me to cast all my anxieties on You because You care for me. Help me to trust You in all things, to be still and know that You are God. In Jesus’ name.