Friday, March 23, 2012

Lent Day 27 - Got Balance?

  Insecurity vs. Pride

Insecurity and pride: two extremes that are both displeasing to God. They can also prevent us from serving God to the fullest. Ironically, both extremes indicate a focus on ourselves – often as compared to others – instead of a focus on God. Reduced to its simplest terms, that is idolatry.

Perhaps the biggest problem with insecurity is that it brings God down to our level. It says “I’m so messed up and worthless that there is no way I can be useful to God.” That kind of thinking puts all of the responsibility on us and totally discounts the power of God. How many times do we read in scripture that nothing is impossible with God? “Is anything too difficult for me?” How many times in scripture did God use flawed, imperfect, really messed up people? EVERY TIME! Start a list and you’ll fill up this page. The amazing thing about God is that the more messed up we are, the greater his glory shines when he makes something beautiful of our lives. The more incapable we are to do a task, the greater his glory when it is successful and furthers his plan.

Insecurity is fear. We fear because we focus on ourselves and what we are incapable of doing instead of God and what he is capable of bringing about. He has not given us a spirit of fear…that is from the enemy and a great lie to keep up from serving the Lord as we are called to do.

"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God,
you will receive what he has promised."  Hebrews 10:35-36

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, 
whose confidence is in him."  Jeremiah 17:7

The opposite extreme is pride. That too, focuses on us instead of God. It blinds us to the fact that everything we have and are comes from and belongs to God, and is to be used for his purpose. Pride leads us to put ourselves above others, as better than they are. That is sin. We are to consider others before ourselves. That takes humility and understanding our relationship to God, and then others. Pride blinds us to our own faults and weaknesses and denies that we need God for anything. Isn’t God lucky to have someone like me taking care of things for him?

"The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and
humility comes before honor."  Proverbs 15:33

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in
humility consider others better than yourselves."  Philippians 2:3

Somewhere in the middle of these two extremes is the right attitude that we all should seek. It is often times a balancing act between pride and insecurity, and like every other spiritual discipline, it requires that we stay close to the Lord daily. God has given each of us talents and gifts to be used for his kingdom. He does not expect mediocrity. He equips us to do great works for his kingdom. To do that we need to know what our gifts and talents are. We need to nurture them, practice using them, educate ourselves and CONFIDENTLY use them. We are called to be bold for Christ. If God has given you a gift – and he has – give it back to him. Dedicate it to him and pray for his guidance in using it. When people praise you for a talent or gift, use it as an opportunity to praise God and give him the glory for it.

 Be bold and confident, not in yourself or in your gift, but in the God who gave it, sustains it, and has chosen you to join him in his plan for the world. That is always the purpose of our gifts, to use them for the glory of God and to bring others into relationship with him. Praise and thank him today for your gifts. If you don’t know what they are, ask him to show you, and talk to mature Christians who know you and can help lead you to discover what God has placed in you. Ask him to help you use these gifts with confidence and power today. See what happens!

I am praying for you. 


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