Monday, January 31, 2011

Despicable Me

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination......365/365photo © 2009 Abe Novy | more info (via: Wylio)

The current series at our church is Grace Experienced. It's been a really great look at grace in our lives and I've really enjoyed listening to Pastor Tim's take on grace.

Yesterday he was talking about the relationship between grace and humility. I think this is a place where some of us can easily get tripped up. The Scripture clearly mentions that our pride can block grace and that grace is gained through humility. It says this consistently between the old and new testaments. Obviously pride is an enemy of grace.

But I think sometimes we confuse humility with self-deprecation or worse, with self-hatred. We want to be humble, but think that it requires us to ignore talents that God has given us. We want to avoid arrogance, so devalue ourselves. We want to prove that we love others, but we forget that Jesus told us that we love others as we love ourselves. 

Physical self-flagellation looks barbaric and horrifying, but how many of us practice emotional self-flagellation all the time? That maybe if we beat ourselves up about this past sin one more time we can make it right. That maybe if we treat ourselves like crap it can make up for the times we've treated others like crap. Or maybe we are simply unable to recognize the inherent worth that we have as a part of God's creation. We choose titles for ourselves to prove how unworthy we are. Unlovable. Rejected. Worthless. Unchanged.

But we forget about the titles that God has given us.





Perhaps humility requires us to accept the labels that God Himself has given to us. To recognize that the names that He has given us are more important than the names that we give ourselves.

Do you have any labels that you give yourself that are at odds with the ones that God has given you? How do you work to overcome humility that beats you down?


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