Weekend Devotion: Insecurity is not humility. Humility is a right assessment of oneself in relation to God. Let’s explore pride.
Pride is preoccupation with self whether positive or negative. Pride refuses help-I don’t need or want assistance even if it is greatly needed. Pride fuels unbelief (not agreeing with God), bickering (I know better than you), jealousy (I deserve that attention), competition (I deserve to be first), put downs, mean sarcasm/excessive criticism, racism and sexism (someone must be inferior for me to feel superior), rebellion, self pity, insecurity, clamors to be promoted (give me a title, put me in charge), unwilling to serve/sacrifice for others. And a host of other things…
I did not feel bad about myself until I stepped into ministry. It is okay. God has healed the damage done by well meaning Christians.
When I entered ministry I was told feeling like dirt was humility. I needed to pretend to be bad at things to give God glory. Not sure how that works? “Oh God, I am ugly, untalented, have nothing to offer, horrible“,. God responds, “Ummm I made you, so you are saying as a Creator/Artist I am not very skilled?”
He is the Artist, we are His artwork. Insulting the artwork is insulting the Artist.
I noticed people who ascribed to worm theology (some not all) struggled with loving others. Why? Because they thought so low of themselves. We can only give away the love we have first received. If I feel like dirt, how am I going to love, empower others? If I feel like dirt, I will most likely struggle with jealousy/comparison, and cut others down to feel better.
I also realized worm theology and “I am dirt” is just the flip coin of pride. It is saying, “My opinion of me is more important than God’s. I know better than God. Me! Me! Me! Woah is me. I am but a wretched worm.”
I love what Pastor Bill Johnson says, “I can not afford to have a thought in my head that God doesn’t have in His.”
How do earthly parents feel about their kids? Just look at Social Media and you can see it. They brag on their kids all day, every day. God loves infinitely more. He is not looking to suppress what He has given or created.
God is proud of His kids. He cheers for His kids. He believes in His kids. He says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. He, through Jesus, seated us in heavenly places and made us joint heirs with Jesus. We are His workmanship created for His glory. We are highly valued by God. Jesus paid for our lives with His. God doesn’t make junk.
We are not God. We are not to be worshipped, elevated to His equal or above Him. We are though to honor what He created. It brings Him glory.
How did Jesus walk out humility? I never read of Him having perpetual pity parties or insulting Himself, nor pretending He wasn’t who the Father said He was.
Jesus served. He did not demand others serve Him. Humility is willing to serve, even without credit/glamor.
Jesus forgives. Pride holds onto grudges.
Jesus empowers others. He believed in the disciples, gave them chances before they proved themselves, and knowing sometimes they would fail.
Jesus accepted help from others. Pride doesn’t want help. Jesus invited the disciples to pray for Him.
Jesus sacrificially loved. Pride is “me focused”-serve me, love me, bless me. Me! Me! Me!
Jesus acknowledged His dependence on the Father.
Jesus had a right assessment of Himself in relation to the Father.
Jesus gave others chances to shine/step into their destiny. After He multiplied the fish and loaves, He invites the disciples to do the same.
Jesus associated with the weak, broken, outcasts of society. He wasn’t too good to be with the least of them.
He did not look down His nose on others.
Jesus empowered women and treated them with respect, honor, dignity.
Jesus did not have to send out business cards “Messiah”, or walk in the room and say, “I am here, bow to Me peasants.” He walked in agape love and power; it drew people to Him and the Father.
Jesus washed feet. He served those who would later betray Him.
Jesus said, “When you see Me, you have seen the Father.” He invites us to abide in Him so other’s see the Father.
Jesus submitted His entire life to the Father. Out of love He submitted. Pride hates to come into agreement with others. It demands it’s own way.
Good news, if we have pride there is forgiveness and mercy. I am not immune from pride. I have found when I disagree with God, that’s pride. When I focus too much on me, pride. When I overshare out of excitement and forget to listen or to consider my audience, pride. God says, “Come be loved by Me.”
Pride melts away in His Presence. He doesn’t beat me up. He loves me to life. Being with Him and agreeing with Him leads to transformation. He, as the Masterful Surgeon, prunes away in love. We are all in process, being transformed from glory to glory.
So may you and I abide in His love, stay connected to the Vine, agree with God, and love ourselves as He does. The love we receive can be poured out on Him. Then we can love our neighbor as ourselves.