It's easy to recognize pride or feelings of being 'better than' those around us, but what about when we demean ourselves? When we accuse, or blame, or diminish who we are? Our pastor, using three balloons, recently demonstrated how both inflating who we are, and reducing who we are in Christ, is a matter of pride. These truths hit hard, because sadly, I can be a great self-loather. I really screwed that up. That thing I said was so stupid. I'm just a bad mom. Nobody's going to want to come. I look so stupid. The list could continue, but you get the gist. Up until now, I never would have considered these feelings a pride issue. But through three balloons I see God is steady, unchanging, and unwavering, and who He says we are in Him, is just as steadfast. Anything else says, "Sorry God, you messed this one up." It's all about self. At it's root, it's pride.
So, I have found myself asking then, Who am I in Christ? Surly, forgiven and redeemed, I'm not bound to these same thought struggles day in and day out.
Then, this morning, reading my devotional, I found truths to go along with understanding we are no more, or less, than who God says we are. The title is Discovering Who God Made You to Be. The writer calls it 'courage' to discover who you are in Christ and says it's the beginning of 'great change'. Wow. I love that. It's not easy. But man, is it worth it. She continues with three areas of your life to look at that I want to share, along with the brief comments that floored me in their simplicity, yet seem so hard to put into practice.
1. Your sin and God's forgiveness- When you accept that you cannot be perfect.
2. Your heritage as a believer- It is a comfort to know you are a child of the King of Kings.
3. Your service to God- Find His mission field right in front of you.
It's that first point that goes along with those three balloons. When you accept that you cannot be perfect you begin to see that lofty thoughts of yourself are risky because we all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). And lowly thoughts of yourself are equally a waste of time. When you accept perfection (in you, your children, your house, your style, your words...) as unattainable; when you know you're going to sin, fail and fall short, only then can you understand your need for forgiveness is constant! Many times a day sometimes! Instead of hovering in the Eeyore phase that follows, you take it to the cross, again, accept forgiveness, and move on. But as the author points out in the beginning, it takes courage.
Are you willing to take that first step and examine your life? I did, and I've found it's not always as pretty as I'd like, but it's real. And it's Christ in me that brings about change.
Be courageous and blessed!