In “Jesus + Nothing = Everything” Tchividjian writes, “Jesus won for me, I was free to lose” and “Jesus succeeded for me, I was free to fail” (p.24). Throughout the book Tchividjian encourages us to remove our attention from what we do in sanctification. He writes, “I think too much about how I’m doing, if I’m growing, whether I’m doing it right or not” (p.174). He tells us such thinking is wrong and will only make us “neurotic and self-absorbed” (p.174). After all, in Christ, he tells us, “it’s all said and done” (p.174).
Here Tchividijan is writing a book telling people the right way to do it (growing in Christ) is by not worrying about whether one is doing it right. How is the prescription to do it right by not worrying about whether one is doing it right any different of a prescription then the one that teaches that doing it right is by worrying about doing it right? Tullian’s advice requires just as much work and is potentially just as promissory of failure. How does one know if one’s lack of worry is not enough lack of worry? Could we not begin to worry that we are not “not worrying” enough? Does Jesus’ not worrying about how His performance did or did not please the Father satisfy when we fail to preform well enough our not worrying work?
I know I regularly worry that I don’t not worry enough.
I fear Tchividijian is teaching me to be neurotic and self absorbed in all of his writing about the importance of my work of not worrying in sanctification.
The point is that Tullian is requiring me to do nothing and I am exhausting myself making sure that I do the good work of nothing in my sanctification.
If it really is all said and done then Tullian shouldn’t be writing books saying that we must not concentrate on the God pleasing work of “not doing.”
Further, if I’m free to fail and free to lose does that mean that if I win and succeed that somehow I have failed and lost because I didn’t fail and lose but if I was free to fail and lose and winning and succeeding is failing and losing then that means winning and succeeding is really something that I am free do to…. right? Or does this mean that God is only pleased with me when I fail and lose? And if God is only pleased with me when I fail and lose shouldn’t I try to please God by failing and losing all the time? But then I might worry that I am not losing and failing enough and God might be displeased with me… right?