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“unquotables” (aka clichés are stupid) #5

November 12, 2010

this may not be much of a cliché, but it’s becoming more and more like one. i often hear someone praising another for their love or selfless acts, tell all these stories and examples of their virtue and all that, and paint this wonderful picture of a great person. then, the speaker ever so subtly exempts him or herself with the statement, “i’m just not there yet.”

at first, this phrase might sound like sage humility, but i think it points to a skewed view of our very being. if i believe i am saved, one of God’s people, one who has the very Spirit of God within me, how can i possibly think that i am unable to show the same kind of Love as someone like Jim Elliot? or the same kind of Faith as the Apostle Paul? if i don’t believe i can act with the same virtues as other believers i either (A) don’t believe God truly resides in me or (B) believe these people actually acted on their own volition, because that implies they have something i  do not. i may not be a South American missionary like Elliot or a prolific writer like Paul, but those aspects point specifically to their gifts and places in the Body of Christ, not to the fruits of the Spirit’s work in my life.

Romans 12:3 says that we should think of ourselves with “sober judgement.” that goes for how we think about others, too. if we really think about it, we remember that Paul was a murderer and oppressor before he encountered God. i’m pretty sure Jim Elliot was a pretty bad dude, too. because they’re human. so are Billy Graham, Simon Peter, Francis Chan, Beth Moore, Richard Wurmbrand, the Virgin Mary, C.S. Lewis, and Rich Mullins. all wretched, defiant, sinful humans. until they met God. they were transformed by the God who enters lives and recreates them

while believing i can make a change like these many people we respect and revere, i still remain humble. i still refuse to capitalize “i” in my blog posts. while Paul urged his readers to humble themselves just like Jesus did, he also said we should boast in Jesus. i have pride,  just not in myself. i can boast in Jesus’ presence in my life, for through Him all things are possible; if He is for me then no one can be against me.

my faith is in the Lord. anything else leads to despair. i am not dependent on myself to do anything except to be used by the God of the universe to punch these stupid fingers into my keyboard (and perhaps do a few other things). and since my faith is in the Lord, i am free to do anything that glorifies His Name. i am there.

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