I absolutely believe that everyone struggles in their own personal battle with addictions, self-condemnation, and serious deep-rooted dysfunctions — but I’m beginning to suspect that this language of “the struggle” and “defeat” and “brokenness” has silently crept into permission to be downright unashamedly selfish.
I’ve seen sincere strugglers really seeking help and recovery. But I find it more and more difficult to believe this is true for most people, especially when there’s a consistent pattern of choosing unwisely and hurting others with impunity and little care for consequences. Some of us know that we’re deliberately sabotaging our lives. Then we smuggle in the language of “struggle” to cover for our selfish agendas.
And let’s consider the opposite case, in which we beat up the broken struggler. We wrongly believe that suffering from depression is “sinful.” We say that anxiety is “not trusting God.” We say that “it’s wrong to doubt God and ask questions.” We say that sickness is “not enough faith.”
Struggling denotes that there is an uphill climb toward a destination of freedom. It is absolutely destructive to use that word for anything else. We are mocking others with this word if we abuse it one too many times, when you know that it’s not defeat, but disobedience.
The good news is: God has grace for both the struggling and the selfish. God also knows our motives are not so clear-cut, so that sometimes you’re really struggling and other times you’re selfish, and God still loves you through both. God still meets you at your point of prodigal rebellion and your rock-bottom of defeat. God can break the prideful sinner as much as He renews the hurting in despair.