Struggling with struggling

By Dave Henning / September 11, 2023

“I was struggling with the fact that I was struggling, which made my struggling more of a struggle.  The people around me had to see it because they weren’t hearing it from me.”- Kyle Idleman

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’  Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”- Philippians 2:14-16 (NIV)

In Chapter 1 (“Diagnosing Disconnection”) of When Your Way Isn’t Working: Finding Purpose and Contentment through Deep Connection with Jesus, Kyle Idleman notes that he’s super good at not asking people for help.  Because, Kyle believed, when you ask for help people perceive you as weak.  Or they think you come off as whiny.

As a result, Pastor Idleman even quoted a Bible verse to support his belief — Philippians 2:14.  In addition, Kyle used to keep that verse posted on a wall in his house and in his office.  The verse, Kyle admits, served not so much as a reminder to him.  Rather, the verse served as a warning to everyone else.

However, that approach worked really well for Kyle.  Until it didn’t.  So, Pastor Idleman started to unload to his “executive coach” (aka therapist).  Three particular ‘unloads’ caught my attention.  For example, Kyle stated:

  1. My list of things to get done feels like a weight that’s too heavy, but more plates get added to the bar every day.
  2. Even though I know God’s grace, I feel like I’m letting him down.  I don’t know why he doesn’t pull me out of the game and put someone else in.
  3. I feel discouraged, and I’m discouraged about feeling discouraged because I’m supposed to be the one who encourages people who feel discouraged.

But rather than vulnerably admitting his need for help, Kyle acts annoyed.  Yet, others see anger.  Although, Kyle observes, even angry seems better than whiny.  Anger feels more powerful and less helpless.

Today’s question: What time(s) in your life have you struggled with struggling like Kyle?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Your connection with the Vine”

About the author

Dave Henning

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