DayBreaks for 08/09/12 – Getting Over Yourself
Ah, yes. Our self-image. We are prone to image problems! It seems that most people are either despairing because they feel they have no worth to anyone (even God) or they think they’re pretty special (after all, they know their own thoughts like no one else does) and that everyone would do well to be as wonderful, smart, beautiful or talented as they are. Then, there are some who understand what they are in-and-of-themselves, and how that has been counterbalanced by what they are in Christ. These are the fortunate ones that understand that though we are sinners, we can wash our robes pure in the blood of the Lamb, that God loves them passionately, and that He has declared them worthy.
Jesus clearly taught how God feels about those who are prideful: “I tell you, when this man went home, he was right with God, but the Pharisee was not. All who make themselves great will be made humble, but all who make themselves humble will be made great.” (Lk. 18:14) God loves the humble, but hates the proud. It is important to note that when humans take the initiative to make themselves great (“all who make themselves great…”) they will “be made” humble, but those who make themselves humble will “be made” great. Is it not a much greater thing to be made something by God instead of by yourself?
How is humility cultivated? Max Lucado in Traveling Light offered tips on how to get over yourself to learn humility:
- Assess yourself honestly: “Humility isn’t the same as low self-esteem. Being humble doesn’t mean you think you have nothing to offer; it means you know exactly what you have to offer and no more.”
- Don’t take success too seriously:“Scripture gives this warning – ‘When your…silver and gold increase…your heart will become proud.’ Counteract this pride with reminders of the brevity of life and the frailty of wealth. Ponder your success and count your money in a cemetery, and remember that neither of the two is buried with you.”
- Celebrate the significance of others: “In humility consider others better than yourselves.”
- Don’t demand your own parking place:“Go sit in a seat that is not important. When the host comes to you, he may say, ‘Friend, move up here to a more important place.’ Then all the other guests will respect you.’ (Lk. 14:10) Demanding respect is like chasing a butterfly. Chase it, and you’ll never catch it. Sit still, and it may light on your shoulder.”
- Don’t announce your success before it occurs: “One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off.” (1 Kings 20:11) Simply put: don’t brag about defeating an enemy or conquering a mountain before you’ve actually conquered it. It is easy to brag before going into battle, but who (besides God) knows if you will fall? If you don’t, and you come out alive, remember it was by His grace that you live to see another day.
- Speak humbly: “Let no arrogance come from your mouth.” (1 Sam. 2:3)
- Live at the foot of the cross: “Paul said, ‘The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is my only reason for bragging’ (Gal. 6:14) Do you feel a need for affirmation? Does your self-esteem need attention? You need only pause at the base of the cross to be reminded of this: The maker of the stars would rather die for you than live without you.”
Have you been a bit puffed up lately? Re-read Max’s list and pray about it. Have you been feeling down on yourself lately? Re-read Max’s list and pray about it. Know who you are, what you are, what you have to offer – and most of all, where it all comes from!.
PRAYER: It amazes me, Jesus, how we can go from humble to proud in a heartbeat, and how we can even be proud of our humility! Adjust our perspective and keep our self-image fully informed by Your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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