Monday, December 01, 2008



Are you a control freak? Really, are you? There is a basic tendency for all of us to want to be in control. At the heart of this tendency is the deadliest of the seven deadlies-pride! Pride is believing that you can actually control things in your life. It's when you push your Creator-God aside and take over the universe for awhile.

There's an old Jewish proverb that says: "Pride is the mask of one's own faults." It's when you know deep down that you are not able to control anything, so instead of admitting it, you put on your pride mask. The thing about this is that most people handle life in this way and therefore are playing the game along with you and protect themselves by not taking off that mask. However, pride has a way of showing itself with the destruction that is caused. This fits one of the most popular of proverbs about pride: "Pride goes before destruction; a haughty spirit before a fall." Your pride will be discovered by its damaging results. When this happens, you will be given another chance to be honest about yourself and abandon your attitude of pride. But even though the opportunity to come clean about yourself presents itself, it's very hard not to live in the state of denial in order to continue playing the game.

When I see the ugly head of pride showing up in my life and in the life of others, I just want to say: GET OVER YOURSELF! That's really what is happening. There is too much of yourself that preoccupies all of your thoughts and choices. When your life becomes "all about you", you are wrapping your life up in a very small package-insignificant and inadequate.

Jesus teaches the answer for this pride problem. He says: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." (Luke 9:23) He uses the word "deny", but He is actually saying: GET OVER YOURSELF so there is room for Me in your life!

Denying yourself or getting over yourself is really what humility is all about. Humility is having a right evaluation of yourself before God. It's believing what God says about you is true and believing what God says about Himself is true.

The most interesting thing about humility is that the more you grow spiritually the more humble you will become. As you grow in your walk with Jesus you will see your life more clearly and will have a better handle on having a right evaluation about who you are before God. Paul, in his letters to the followers of Jesus actually seems to be growing backwards. As the years pass he goes lower; he grows downward! And as his self-esteem sinks, he sees God more clearly as the awesome One who owns and empowers him. He is able to understand what Jesus meant when He said: "Without Me you can do nothing." Check it out:

FIRST-Paul says in his early years: "I am the least of the apostles." (1 Corinthians 15:9) He sees himself as about 13 on the list of the ones Jesus chose to lead out in following Him. Thirteenth! Now that's pretty high up in the ranks of the followers of Jesus.

SECOND-As Paul moves into his middle years he says: "I am the very least of all the saints." (Ephesians 3:8) He now sees himself a little less on the totem pole of Jesus' followers. He is now no longer thirteenth, but he is the least of all of the saints!

THIRD-Then, later in Paul's ministry, his view of himself is even worse! He says: "I am the chief of sinners." (1 Timothy 1:15) Whoa! He has gone from thirteenth place to the least of all the saints and now he sees himself as the worst sinner of all! What a reversal! That is the great thing about humility. The more humble you are the more grace you embrace to become more spiritually mature. It is a faith-walk with your Creator-God!

Now, one of the most popular criticisms of a faith-walk of humbling yourself before God is that your faith is a crutch. "Oh, your faith in God is just a crutch!" Have you ever heard that? It's one of the most common attacks thrust against believers. I have come to realize that the accusation is absolutely right! Faith IS a crutch! But there is nothing wrong with that at all. It's a natural thing-even understandable! Let me offer two reasons for my thinking:

First, a crutch is good when you need it! If your ankle is broken or badly sprained, a crutch is absolutely necessary. You can't get around very well without one. When you see someone using crutches, you don't criticize them or belittle them for using them. Since they are hurting and have been damaged, it's natural, even wise, to use the crutches! The same is true about your life. When you are in need, hurt and damaged, it's natural to search for a set of crutches!

Second, a crutch allows you to become healed! Those who are in need of crutches and use them will find healing and relief over time. If you need crutches and don't use them, you just prolong your pain and prevent your healing!

If you have a pulse, then you have a real need for a set of spiritual crutches. In fact, humans don't work well when unplugged from a personal relationship with the Creator. Humility is based upon this personal relationship with your Creator-as I said earlier-a right evaluation of yourself before God. There is a wickedness and a wonder about who you are. You have within you a wickedness that is able to do most anything, any place at any time. When you see your need for God, you fall into line before your Creator and you are the created one. But you're not as bad as you could be! There is also a wonder about you! You have been created in the image of your Creator. When you have a right evaluation of yourself-wickedness and wonder, you take on a true humility.

This humility, then, is to spill over into your relationships, so that you treat everyone else as a fellow-created being. Without humility, pride and self-centeredness reign in your life! Pride is such a prevalent and prominent problem of the human condition-so much so that only a personal relationship with your Creator has the capability of diminishing this deadly, spiritual cancer. This is the reason for the following Biblical principle: HUMBLE YOURSELF & GOD WILL EXALT YOU! EXALT YOURSELF & GOD WILL HUMBLE YOU!

You can only secure your spiritual crutches by faith-faith in your Creator! So your faith is a crutch. You desperately need it! Maybe the image of crutches isn't strong enough. There have been many times when I have felt that my need for God is so great that it would be better to call it an IRON LUNG!

Hey, don't you think it's time to GET OVER YOURSELF? Think it over!