Tuesday, August 11, 2009

pride - a personal reflection

There's been great fuel for pride in my life recently. I led a couple of seminars during the last month, and they were received beyond my hopes and expectations. You know the kind of thing: glowing recommendations, people telling me how I'd affected them (or, hopefully, how God's word affected them!), and invitations to more teaching opportunities. Humanly speaking, it was a dream come true.

I went for a walk and prayed the other morning. I wept. I sat on my rock (actually, it was a neighbouring rock!) and poured out my heart to God. I could feel pride and selfish ambition creeping up on me, and I was determined to stand against them.

I sat and reflected on my insignificance. God doesn't need me. He can further his kingdom without my help. He can raise up the people he wants, when and where he wants. When I've gone to be with my Lord, others will take my place. How gloriously superfluous I am!

We are none of us necessary. Or look at it another way: we are all equally necessary to one another. No fingers boasting over toes in this body!

The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour. ... Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Cor 12:12-27
My tears of repentance were replaced with tears of wonder and joy, as I thought about God's unshakeable plan to glorify his Son (Eph 1:3-14): a plan that he graciously involves me in, but which doesn't need me in it.

I said to God, "I am yours. You may take it all away tomorrow, and that is okay, your kingdom will go forward. You may choose for me an obscure life serving a sick husband or a disabled child, and that is okay, your kingdom will go forward. I may die tomorrow, and that is okay (no, that is best!) and your kingdom will go forward."

You'll sometimes hear people say, "It's not about you". They're right. It's not about me. It's about God and his glory.

If God chooses to use me to further his kingdom, I will praise him. If he chooses to use someone else to further his kingdom, I will praise him. For "neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow" (1 Cor 3:7).


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder Jean - you are kind to us by baring your soul in this way. It reminds me of how we need to be good pastors to ourselves - when we feel confident/proud, we need to preach the grace of God to ourselves and in repentance, trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus as the only grounds of our salvation. And then when we feel overcome by our sin, we once again preach the death and resurrection of Jesus to ourselves as the only ground of our forgiveness and salvation. May the glory always be to God alone.

Sara from Germany said...

Dear Jean, I just - accidentally- stumbled across your blogg and I'm oh so glad! You're very refreshing. And I could relate to so many things I read so far. I think I'll come and visit more often!