Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ego Hotline

If life were an Ego Hotline, I would be on the receiving end of it. Fo sho.

Even as I wrote that, there was a desire to think, "Hey, now that was a sweet metaphor! Betcha no one else thought of that..."

What I mean to say by relegating my life to an Ego Hotline is this: all my life, I've always been told that I was smart, a leader, a godly person, etc. In almost all I did, I was successful and people made sure to let me know. I was never the kid who struggled to get by and I absolutely never felt like no one believed in me. I was always the guy with all the opportunities, initiative, gifts, and drive to do anything he wanted. But hear this:

That was never a bad thing.

All of that encouragement and support was just an outpouring of love from people who cared for me and desired for me to succeed, and was never, ever an attempt to boost my pride and make me think much of myself. They were simply following the Biblical command to encourage. (1 Thess. 5:11)

But, as I grew, I began to think that, yeah, I was pretty mature. Yeah, I was smart. Yeah, I was a "good Christian." So, all of these things led to my pride. But please pay attention when I say that it wasn't the encouragement itself that led to my pride, but, rather, it was my sin nature that puffed me up in thinking much of myself.

When God ripped my soul out of darkness, he dealt with a lot of the pride in my heart and showed me how little a part I had to play in the story of His creation. But I still had a lot of ground left to cover and He's been especially breaking down just how deep and rooted my pride really is.

When I was growing up, particularly in my grade-school years, I had huge issues with writing. When I was a young homeschool boy, my mom had slowly taught me how to do my own school-work and become independent from her, but writing was still a subject that she would have to be heavily involved with.

"Why?" you ask?

Well, let's just say that I disliked hated writing. It was pretty much on the top of the list of things that I never wanted to waste time on. So I would argue, get aggravated, and even cry during the times that I was forced to put pen to paper, or rather, finger to keyboard, and write. So it is with full knowledge of my past that I say this:

It is by the pure grace of God that I am writing Kingdom Eyes, and not because I am awesome.

1 Corinthians 4:7 says, "What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?" Also, James 1:17 claims that, "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights."

With verses like these, how can we claim that our gifts, talents, abilities, opportunities, and blessings are from ourselves!? This means that my talent to write is a gift of God given to me in order that I may use it to glorify the Father, not myself.

It is becomes more and more amazing to me how much like simple tools we are in the hands of God. He uses us to further His Kingdom and do what He needs to do, and we are privileged to be a part of the story of the redemption of the world.

"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6) We've all heard that verse, but take a minute to think about what it means. When we walk with a swagger and begin to think about how great we are, we exempt ourselves from being used by God for whatever plan He had in mind. But, in reality, that's not a problem for God.

'Cuz when God finds that he doesn't want to use a tool, He can go to Home Depot and buy another one. We are all replaceable.

Ultimately, we are unworthy even to speak the name of Christ. Our sin is despised by God, and it is only by His pure grace that He uses creatures as messed up and twisted as we are.

"Where's the self-esteem, man??? You're gonna make people feel depressed!" you might say.

The Bible is not a book that helps us feel better about ourselves. It is a Book that makes us realize how dirty, filthy, and messed up we truly are. But what happens after that realization is key. For in the depths of the mud of being disgusted with your sin, God reaches in his Strong Arm and says, "I died for you. Not because you could measure up, but because I love you, more than you could ever know."

And it is in that moment that pride is done away with, and we find the most comfort and joy.


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