That is until recently.
Lately, I've been patting myself on the back. Some of my endeavors and thought process have been better than other people's (at least in my own eyes). I took an "How dare they", attitude when I wasn't asked to participate in an event. I even got upset when I wasn't acknowledged for helping someone in a tough spot - never mind they acknowledged God - where was my acknowledgement? I was extremely surprised when these feelings welled up within me. Thankfully, the feeling was quickly identified and I began to ask myself the hard questions.
Exactly where is this coming from?
Why do I think I deserve any acknowledgement at all?
Isn't grace and mercy enough?
Why are you making yourself equal to God?
That last question was the most sobering. I imagine that this is how it began with the devil ... the angels told him he did things well, he believed he did things well and then poof He wanted to overthrow God - really?
...God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, (1 Peter 5:5b-6 NASB)
So, I knew I had to start speaking and confessing the opposite of what I had been feeling out loud so I didn't find myself in the same company as the fallen angel destined for the fiery, bottomless pit ...
I am no better than God!
I can do nothing apart from Him.
His giftings to me allow me to function the way I do.
In Him I live and move and have my being.
My dreams come from Him.
My good thoughts are from Him.
My will is aligned with His will which is the only reason I can be used to help others.
Thanks be to God who is merciful, loving, full of grace and awesome all together and all at once. He is the beginning of all and the end of all. He is the reason for everything and not me. I am His vessel. I belong to Him so that His will can be carried out. It isn't my will, my good nature, or my foresight because it is all given by Him and He graciously chooses to involve me in it.
Oh, Lord, my God, may I never exalt myself over you! Even if I try, it isn't true so it is a fraudulent exaltation anyway!
I was able to identify another sin in this whole situation. Judgement. I judged someone for being prideful, so God allowed me to be prideful so I could see just how easy it is to slip into sin. What is the saying?
There but for the grace of God, go I...
I am not yet the person Jesus created me to be. But by His grace and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, I will do all things in which Jesus gives me strength to do ... with humility and without judgement.
Just Around the Corner,