Pride is ubiquitous among leaders in the Christian world. The interesting thing about pride is that it is often rooted in insecurity. If I am insecure I don't want to be wrong and if I don't want to be wrong I will insist that I am right which leads directly away from humility and straight toward pride.
But why do we live with needing to hide our insecurities and weaknesses and mask them with certainty and a need to be right? May I suggest that it is because we are trying to prove something about ourselves? That we are good enough? That we are not failures? That we are worthy people? That God will be happy with us? That we are successful?
Is it possible that at the heart of our pride and fear of failure and therefore a need to be right and in charge is that we do not understand grace? What is grace about other than that God accepts us with all of our sin, weaknesses, dysfunctions, dark sides, and all the rest we can name. And if He accepts us and loves us and if we live in His grace, why do we need to pretend we are something we are not or fear our insecurities? After all, God knows everything about us fully and yet loves us fully. He loved us when we didn't know Him and even then extended grace.
Understanding God's grace is necessary to give ourselves grace. And if I am living in grace I don't need to pretend, I don't need to be right, I don't need to prove myself to others and I can admit my insecurities, failures and other areas of struggle. And that is the key to a life of humility. Pride is all about a facade to protect ourselves. Understanding grace removes me from the necessity of the facade and allows me to be real - the real me - warts and all. And it allows me to be OK with the journey I am on toward greater likeness to Jesus but knowing it will remain imperfect until I see Him.
I suspect that humility and grace are deeply intertwined and that understanding, living in and extending to ourselves God's grace is a key to the ability to live humbly. Humility is a nothing to prove, nothing to lose attitude where we don't need pretense. It is an honest life. Honest about who we are, the gifts God has given us, the brokenness we have and the journey we are on. I am not sure that true humility is possible without a good understanding of God's grace.
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