So… here goes something else about myself that drives myself crazy… I know that was a weird and possibly incorrect way to word that statement, but I just decided I didn’t care. If you’ve ever had many conversations with me, you likely picked up on an annoying little quirk. I will nearly always find some way to make myself seem smarter or stronger than you or whomever we’re talking about. If you say you took Spanish in high school and could speak a little, I will probably find a way to tell you how I learned it by ear and become fairly conversant. If you tell me you like to run, I will somehow work in that I ran a marathon. I guess we call this “one-upsmanship,” because I’m always trying to “one-up” you. I’m the WORST about this in relation to Scripture and its interpretation…
Obviously, this is about insecurity. People who are insecure are constantly trying to prove their worth. It may seem like they are trying to prove it to others, but the truth is that they (I guess I should say WE) are trying to convince themselves that they have worth. This could stem not only from issues growing up or inherent personal struggles, but also from not truly considering our own value to God. When we act this way, we illustrate that we don’t really believe in the value which He has placed upon us. No matter if we are a king or a peasant, a laborer or a lawyer, a Nobel prize winner or a dropout, God has created us with ultimate value. We bear His image and wear His Name. His cleansing blood pulsates through the recesses of our souls. While ruling over all of creation, He’s never in a place where His lap is closed off to His children. These are things on which we all agree and shout “Amen!”
However… even though we “believe” in these things… do our actions indicate that we actually do believe in them?
Mine do not. As I said previously, I’m one of the worst for trying to always posture in a way that impresses others…
There’s a passage in the Bible that I don’t like to read. It’s Romans 12:3: “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment…”
I don’t like that verse because it pricks me down to the core of my being.
One of the most central tenets of Christianity is humility. This is of critical importance because one cannot actually be a believer in Jesus and His atoning sacrifice if one refuses to approach it with humility. Humility is what enables us to see our own faults, flaws, shortcomings, and rebellion. This issue isn’t just about being annoying, but also about being unteachable. There’s a line in the movie, Avatar: “You cannot fill a cup that is already full.” This was a statement that the indigenous people of the planet Pandora made in reference to the fact that it’s impossible to tell humans anything because they think they already know everything. If we spend our time justifying why what we did or what we are is all okay, then we’ve just explained why we don’t really need Jesus. Humility gives us the eyes to see how we are not all that we think we are. We are not the center of the universe. We are not the smartest or strongest or wisest or even the most humble (now that’s irony…).
I’ve had a few instances in my life wherein I was able to live in a little bit of humility, albeit for a short time. Those moments had less bondage than I’ve ever experienced and less struggle in general. Yet, getting back to that place is one of most slippery journeys I’ve ever attempted.
My conclusion about this is pretty simple: I don’t like to live in a place of humility because I really don’t trust that Jesus is enough for me. I have a constant drive to make sure that, even though I know that He accepts and loves and cherishes me, others think very highly of me as well. I’ll never forget the first time I heard the statement that is so diagnostic for my life, “Jesus isn’t enough.” My friend, Teddy Winter, was speaking at a pastor’s conference with such a deep level of true humility that I was actually jealous of it! I hated him in that moment! I wished I had come up with that! I wished I had his attitude!
As I sit here and finish this up, I chuckle a little to myself. I think I can find a way to be envious and/or jealous of anyone for anything… and I know that I can find a way to try and convince you that I’m superior to everyone.
What a crock.
I don’t need superiority. We live in this world for a very short time. It is truly so ridiculous to think that we spend so much time and energy concerning ourselves with our position here, instead of simply accepting our position with our Father that cherishes us… even in our brattiest moments.