Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Problem of Pride and the Trap of Insecurity

This is going to start out sounding like my previous couple of posts (i.e., meaningless), but hang on here with me for a minute and you'll get the point, I hope. I was watching American Idol tonight while I packed more boxes full of my seemingly infinite amount of stuff in preparation for moving in the next few days. Right at the end of the show, the last of the teasers for tomorrow night shows a very cute, nicely dressed, 20-something girl (who has obviously just been rejected by the judges) who, with tears in her eyes, forces a scary grin and says in a desperate, high screech, gesturing wildly, "Look at me! I'm unique!!" It's meant to be funny, of course, but comes across as poignant and kind of awful.

In a philosophical moment American Idol does not often provoke, I thought, Isn't that just like me? I'm not on national television, of course, but in so many ways, my life is made up of moments when I demand that those around me look at me and see how unique and special I am -- how superior to the average person!

The problem of pride is that it builds us up in places we need torn down -- arrogance about our skills, accomplishments, gifts, belongings, even, God forbid, about our salvation! 1 Corinthians 4:7 says, "What do you have that you did not receive?" Nothing! I have nothing -- not faith, not obedience, not ability, not material possessions -- that the Lord in His grace did not provide me! I have no blessing that Christ did not earn on my behalf.

But at the same time, the trap of insecurity keeps us from embracing our completely secure place in Christ. No, we did not earn righteousness, but nonetheless it is ours in Christ. We did not merit blessing, but Christ's merit purchased the highest of all spiritual blessings: salvation! (Getting revved up; brace yourself!) We did not deserve the love of God, but we still have it without condition! My position is no better than yours, but it's still glorious! Imagine -- To be in relationship with, to receive the love of the God who fashioned the stars, who made the Alps and the angels and the ocean!

What joy is yours and mine, friends. Let's learn to really know our place in Christ, and hold our salvation in humility.


Laura's Dad said...

We never outgrow our need for the cross, do we? We ought never outgrow our appreciation for it, either.

Laura's Dad

Lorie said...

Amen. I love this post. In fact, I think I'm going to link to it from my very own blog...

And I've just started reading "When People Are Big and God is Small", which directly relates to some of these very issues. BOY, can I identify!

Bobby said...

Yeah, it's easy to poke fun at a lot of those hapless Idol wanna be's (especially the ones who invite it with ridiculous behavior) but aren't we all like that sometimes? Probably more so than we'd care to admit.

Heather said...

I just stumbled across your blog through Christine's and really enjoyed this post! How true it is that we are not valuable because of our own merit but rather through that given us by the One who loves us most! It's something Christ continually brings me back to, because I lean on my own understanding far too often...thanks so much for such an uplifting reminder!


Nick said...

Hi, stumbled on your blog through Mikstine etc. Great post, thanks for your thoughts!

Nick (Tasmania)