July 12, 2010
Like Mikeif I could be like Mike. Hidden in this catchy advertisement jingle for Gatorade is a universal truth about humanity. Quite simply, everyone yearns to be great. We all want to make our mark on this world. Before our time is up on this spinning globe, we hope our life will matter. Our dream might not involve possessing the ability to dunk from the free throw line; making so many all-star games you lose count or being in the running for the greatest basketball player of all time. For some, the drive for greatness centers around the business arena, academic institutions, art world or focused inside the home.
The problem is that our view of greatness has been drastically skewed from Gods original intent. In fact, over time God has gone missing from this picture of greatness. Instead, people are scrambling to make much of themselves. The most basic response of our fallen nature is to draw attention to ourselves.
Our culture adds to the pressure we feel to promote ourselves by stressing that we must take responsibility for our own satisfaction. This message causes despair and hopelessness because we worry that we have failed or missed our shot at greatness. So, we work even harder to prove that we matter and manage our image so we look great to others. When we fall into the trap of grabbing for greatness, we are prone to find our sufficiency and satisfaction in things that disappoint and ultimately leave us longing for more.
Pride requires a disconnect from the reality that says this world is not about you. Pride says I matter and must make certain of that fact. It is based off the assumption that no one else cares as much about you as you. This line of thinking comes from the often-quoted notion that God helps those who help themselves. Nowhere in scripture does this message appear. Instead we read in James 4:6 that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Until we realize that God has made a way for us to be complete, we will continue to cling to every shallow advantage to prove ourselves, justify our worth and compensate for what we perceive that we lack. Pride is fueled by our need for security and satisfaction. What we have to realize is that we do not have to grab what youve been given. Our faith is found in our security in His faithfulness.
Our souls desire is fulfilled when we simply delight in Him by surrender our desire for control. God has made a way for us to be complete, both satisfied and secure. We are free to live the life we have been given. Yet, this only comes as a result of humbling ourselves through the act of surrender.
There is a lot more to humility than just being good. It is not simply a nice character trait to make you more likeable and easier to be around. Any definition of humility that begins, humility is seeing yourself as is wrong. Scripturally, humility is not seeing yourself at all because you are looking at God. Humility takes root in our heart only when we kneel before Him and surrender all of our lives before Him. The only antidote to pride is the act of kneeling. Author John Piper puts it this way, humility can only survive in the presence of God. When God goes, humility goes. In fact you might say that humility follows God like a shadow.
In Gods economy, humility is the very path to greatness. Our prayer should be that we are humbled by Gods presence in our life so that we are not humbled by our circumstances that happened by our poor choices driven by pride.
- What places in your life are you currently being graspy in search of control and significance? What would it look like for you to surrender these areas to God and trust that He is the ultimate source for your security and satisfaction?
- Read Luke 9:23-25. Comfort, pride, feeling youre owed, the desire to control. What is inhibiting you from surrendering this area to God?
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