Monday, September 2, 2013

Demand Nothing

I've been reading a book by Dr. Larry Crabb entitled "Inside Out." Like most books I start, it has been a slow process as I read a chapter or two, get sidetracked by another book, come back for another chapter or two, and inevitably start the whole cycle over again. So needless to say this one's been by my bed for the last year. But it is SO GOOD. 

I just finished the chapter entitled "The Problem of Demandingness." Oof. This was heavy stuff, ya'll! I really wanted to blog about it because it was SO GOOD, and so I was going to process through it all and share my thoughts, but in reality I might never get all this processed. And Larry knows what he's talking about. So below I've shared some of the hard-hitting ideas from the chapter in an order that seems to mostly make sense if you read it all through like there aren't paragraphs and pages between each thought. :) 

So all that follows is written by Dr. Larry Crabb (for copyright reasons or whatever... I'd hate for him to stop by the blog and then try and sue me). Cute lil graphic by yours truly. Feel free to steal it. 

"Problems may fuel a demanding spirit but never justify it.

To insist on something, we must first persuade ourself that what we're after is deserved and legitimate, that we have a solid basis for our demands. And nothing persuades us more completely that our weary soul deserves a break than continued heartache.

We tend to measure someone's love by their degree of cooperation with our plans. God's refusal to help us pursue our goals [of happiness or relief] and His insistence that we yield our plans to His makes Him seem unconcerned about our happiness.

We are so deeply committed to our own well-being that anyone who blocks our path to the joy we desire becomes the object of our wrath while we suffer with noble grief.

Perhaps the first step in learning humility is to consider who it is we think must change. A demand that things be different represents an accusation against God, a charge that He's guilty of mismanagement and negligence in His duties.

Suffering can be intense, but no level of suffering justifies us in deciding how we should be treated. Nor can pain be so severe that sinful strategies for finding relief become acceptable.

The necessary foundation for any relationship with God is a recognition that God is God and we are not. We therefore have no business demanding anything of anyone, no matter how fervently our soul longs for relief from pain.

It's one thing to petition with urgency and passion, to weep in anguish, and to plead for relief. It's quite another to demand that the will of the Almighty be one with our own.

The beginning of maturity is an estimate of oneself that makes demandingness unthinkable. And that estimate develops when we confront the reality of who God is and who we are.

Desire much, pray for much, but demand nothing. To trust God means to demand nothing."


  1. Micah is going to be reading this same book for his counseling class this semester! Maybe you can both share your favorite quotes from me and I'll get "Blocks' Notes" know, like Cliff's Notes?!

  2. Thanks for this, Heather, truly something I needed to hear!


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