Monday, May 9, 2011

Pride & Humility - Guess Which One I'm Guilty Of...

Sorry it’s been awhile since my last blog. Things have been kinda busy around here. Our mission trip to Peru is just around the corner… prayer is definitely needed and appreciated.

I wanted to talk a moment about something God has shown me while preparing for Peru: pride. God has shown me several times over the past year where it has crept into my life. It is something that can creep into every person’s life. It is almost always very subtle in how it does it.

I’ll give you an example that God recently showed me. I know in my heart that God does not owe me anything. I was, and still am, a wretched sinner. I deserve death and eternity in hell. The only thing that is different about me now than from how I was then is the fact that I have Jesus’s redeeming blood covering my sins. And yet, I sometimes feel that I have earned favor in God’s sight. I feel he should reward me for my actions and I think that because I’ve tried to live a ‘Christian’ lifestyle – that because I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I’m waiting till marriage to have sex, that I go on mission trips, that I go to church on Sundays, and that I read my Bible and other Christian books – that somehow, because all of that, that God owes me something or that I am special in his eyes because of these acts. And that is simply not true. Don’t get me wrong, those are all good things. There is nothing wrong with doing them – we are called to life a life like Christ and as we grow closer to him, we should desire to do so.

But doing all of that will not earn one bit of favor in God’s eyes and we should not expect it to do so. Nothing we can do in our lifetime will ever atone for one sin in our life. “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” – Isaiah 64:6. As it said in that verse – our righteous acts are nothing to God. And I am calling myself out on this – do not act like God owes us anything because we live a ‘moral’ lifestyle. It is the pride in my life that creeps in and says that I am a good person and that because I’m a good person, that God will reward me. Pride says that I have done something of note and have proven my worth to God. Pride says reward me for my righteous lifestyle. But the truth is this - the only thing God should reward me with is Hell. Nothing I have done or will ever do is enough to justify me in his sight. Luckily, he sent his son to die as a replacement for the death I deserve, and in doing so, he has given me his grace. Grace, by its definition, is freely given. If it can be earned or bought, it is not grace. There is nothing I can do to earn one ounce of grace, and yet God still chose to forgive me.

We should fall on our faces when we think of how grace works and how it covers every sin. It is amazing that it covers even those sins which we are not aware of consciously or don’t want to admit. His transforming grace is all that cover our sins, and all of our righteous acts cannot buy our way into his good will. I say this all to help enlighten others, and so that everyone will help hold me accountable. As I said before, pride has a way of creeping in, and I hope that by posting this, others will help me from becoming prideful. I'll end with this quote from Galatians 6:14 "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Have a great week everyone.

Love in Christ,