ADHD Christianity

I would imagine that if the distinction, classification, label (or whatever doctors call it) of ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder were being used when I was a kid, I might have been so classified. I was in and out of the principal and vice principal’s office all through my elementary, middle school, and high school years. One year alone (3rd grade) I spent almost as much time doing my homework in the principal’s office as I did taking notes in my class. I think Mrs. Benefield hated me. Hate might be too strong of a word, but it’s close. My career in lower education was very low.

ADHD is defined as “a problem of not being able to focus, being overactive, not being able control behavior, or a combination of these.” That was me.

When I got saved in college I took my ADHD personality into my Christian faith. I jumped at every opportunity to do anything I could for God. I was the first to show up and the last to leave every meeting, every service project, and every witnessing opportunity. No job was too small; no responsibility too difficult. I wanted to be the MVP for God.

The Christianity I grew up in encouraged such manic work for God. Often called the protestant work ethic, I jumped into a faith that elevated the busiest, the most hyper, the vigilant, and all who wanted to be an “onward Christian soldier marching as to war.” If you weren’t so wired, you were often labeled lukewarm and compromised.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe hard work is biblical. Focused attention in ministry is God honoring. But sometimes, at least in my journey, I have often found myself hyper for God rather than abiding in Christ. At times I have become so engulfed in the doing that I have left behind the being.

This is ADHD Christianity.

We have been so consumed in success and perfectionism that we have lost the peace that comes from meditation and contemplation. We have overindulged our natural talents through a get up and go Christianity, rather than the stirring up of supernatural gifts that are birthed from within. This has led to an ADHD Christianity that can’t let go of our ambitions, our desires for attention, and a manic need to get the job done.

What’s the result? Just what we have in America. A lifestyle within the church that is arguably no different than the lifestyle of those who never attend church. Recent statistics show that divorce, suicide, and mental illness is of little difference from those who call themselves Jesus followers and those who don’t. Something is dreadfully wrong.

Jesus, in leaving his disciples, knowing the persecution, difficulties, and hyper activity they would soon face, said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”[1] He then told them to abide in him; to attach themselves to him. To find peace through the peace he was giving them.

Let’s get off the train of American churchianity and hook our hopes to being in Christ—true Christianity. Being in Christ. Let’s walk out a peace that comes from being—clinging to Christ. Today, in every activity you are part of, cling to Christ.

On the Road,

Steve

[1] The New King James Version. 1982 (Jn 14:27). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

The Road Less Traveled