OCD has become a bit of a buzz word among millennials, and those who have bits and pieces of it, seem to wear it as a badge of honor. You will hear phrases such as, “I’m really OCD about keeping dust off my computer but a cluttered room doesn’t bother me.” Or you may hear one of dozens of other variations of this line, depending on the preferences of the individual. The way it is said, makes you aware the person saying it is proud of his or her idiosyncrasy, and thinks it is a part of what makes them unique. Those who have more than just bits and pieces of OCD don’t seem to be quite as proud of their situation. They just quietly do what their OCD requires and wish many times they could just let some things go.
We don’t always understand the ramifications of something until it is seen or experienced fully. But if we pause and think about it a bit, while asking God for insight, sometimes we can see further than the little snippets we experience, and realize the full meaning of certain things without fully indulging in them. I think this might be a good practice when we think about OCD. The word disorder is in there for a reason. But this is just a clinical term anyway; I use it for ease of understanding, but what I would like to get into here is not just modern psychology. I try to look at all things through a spiritual lens.
Early in my Christian life, I realized I had a problem with what psychologists might call OCD. It wasn’t in every part of my life, but enough that I saw the bad side of it. I realized that one could be a slave to this thing, and that it is a cruel master. I prayed to have the problem removed. What ensued was chaos. But it was really a response to my prayer, I believe. You see, I had to look somewhere for stability since the things I had looked to for stability were gone. When your own control is not present you can then look to God and let him have control. It was, and sometimes still is a painful lesson.
But the lesson doesn’t stop there. At least for me it didn’t. I realize there is an enemy of our souls, and that he is prowling around looking whom he may devour. He is also looking whom he may deceive. In order to be an effective deceiver, the enemy comes up with counterfeits, and logically if there is a counterfeit, there must be an original. So what is this original?
LIVING A LIFE OF EXCELLENCE
OCD is simply a counterfeit of excellence. Excellence is not achieved by obsession or compulsion. It is achieved by consistency, honesty, nobility, self-respect, and faith. This is not an exhaustive list of its attributes but I think it makes my point. Being Obsessive or Compulsive is all about myself. The control I can leverage to make myself feel secure, and powerful.
Excellence goes beyond. It sacrifices momentary glory and control in order to do something right, in all fields of life, not just the ones I am compelled in. Even when no one is looking and even when it doesn’t make me feel more secure. It is saying God, I trust in you to maintain control, while I take the time to live a life of excellence, by the strength You give me. There is much hope for those who surrender, and let God. Let this be an encouragement, not condemnation, for in Christ all things are possible!