Last Updated on Thursday, 20 October 2011 15:14 Written by Faith Boldt Monday, 01 March 2010 12:03
I am a product of my American culture. I have the diabolical image of myself that is ingrained in most of us. I think of myself too highly, yet I loathe myself.
From the womb, we are taught to have a sense of entitlement and a sense of fierce individualism. We grow up to think that we must have our way all of the time. We elevate the self to the point of self worship. However, at the same time we are made to feel by the media that we are not pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough, etc. We are enticed into thinking that we must spend our life chasing after earthly “perfection”. We believe that we can find it in ourselves, and often we ruin our lives in the pursuit.
This warped perception of who we are spills out into our religious life. Often our prayers become selfish. We tell God exactly what we want and when we want it. We somehow see God as some genie in the sky.
Most of us have sincere hearts and are unaware that this is what we are doing. We seek God, but are often disappointed with the immediate results. This is often true of those who are in ministry. We have our plan of how things should progress and what exactly the results should be. And these plans are often godly plans, plans that we think will further His kingdom. But we must take a step back and realize that our thoughts are not God’s thoughts. We must pray what can sometimes be the most difficult prayer. “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done.”
A personal example of this was my desire to do overseas ministry. For most of my adult Christian life, I wanted to serve God overseas. I had spent a total of a year in Ukraine and several weeks in Romania. I really believed my calling was to serve God on a permanent basis in Eastern Europe. However, that is not how things turned out. Due to specific personal circumstances, I had to rule out overseas work. I, of course, was really disappointed and felt lost. However, I prayed that God’s will be done. God, in turn, showed me that I needed to serve Him here at home. Eventually, I found my way to FOCUS North America, and I know that this is where I belong.
On the other hand, we are often filled with such a low self-image that we think we are unworthy to come before the throne of God and ask for what we need. We don’t have because we don’t ask. We can’t accept the fact that we are beautiful creatures made in the image of God himself. Afraid that we might be consumed, we shrink away from the throne of God. Unable to receive His Grace, we suffer needlessly.
So the question is how do we heal this warped image of ourselves? How do we find the medium between self-worship and self-hate? I am starting to see, that the answer lies in humility. Only with humility will we have the correct image of ourselves.
Where do we find this humility? We have to look no further than Jesus Christ who was equal to God but lowered Himself to become man. “He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of a cross” (Phil. 2:8). He is the one who taught us “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done.”
This is the faith that I want to live for. This is the faith that I am striving for. Lord, give us your servants humble hearts. Help us to heal the image we have of ourselves. Grant us the gift of obedience and help us approach Your throne with confidence and grace.