When you look in the mirror, what do you see? I don't mean a quick makeup or hair check. I mean a real, honest staring yourself down. If you're like me, you're going to see all of your flaws first. When I look, I tend to see things I wish I could change physically. I've never been a fan of my nose. In fact, when I was growing up it was often the subject of jokes in class. I was once told "You have pretty eyes but an ugly face." Well ok then. That's not very helpful to the self esteem of a teenager. And now that I'm in my 40's I'm starting to notice those lovely lines and drooping eye lids.
What about beyond the outside physical things? What about your heart and your soul? What do you see? What do you hear in your mind when you're all alone, in the quiet? Are you reminded of all of your flaws and mistakes? Do you go over conversations in your head you've had with people?
Perhaps you're the opposite. When you see yourself and are left alone with your thoughts, maybe you think "Man I've really got it all together, but that friend of mine does not. She is a mess and should really listen to me." Do you watch people while your out places and think "Wow, those parents really need to change how they're raising their kids"?
What we're talking about here are two extremes: arrogance and insecurity. But are they really two extremes? As Pastor Robb pointed out on Sunday in his sermon, they are not different, they are one in the same. They are two forms of pride. Arrogance is thinking of yourself more highly than you ought. And insecurity is thinking of yourself more lowly than you ought. But when you drop one word from each definition, you get the exact same thing: they are both thinking of yourself more than you ought.
There is nothing wrong with seeing things that we can tweak in ourselves. The same goes for confidence. There is nothing wrong with having confidence in your life. The question really is, where is your view of God in your life? I recently read a devotional where the author explained that we struggle through life because we do not have God placed where we should. Arrogance and insecurity are not putting others first in our life. Nor is it putting God where he needs to be. Living in arrogance and insecurity is putting yourself on the throne. Your thinking is "I can't" or "I am the best"--the key word is "I".
When we have God at the center of our thought life, everything else tends to fall into place. As we go through our daily lives, we tend to forget that Jesus is called Emmanuel--God with us. He is always with us whether we realize it or not. He is with us in good times and in bad times. He is with us when we are on top of the world and everything is going great. And He is with us when it all falls apart. He is with us when we feed our addictions, and with us when we are at rock bottom and the only way to go is up.
He is always with us. So why do we choose not to see him? We are so programmed by our human nature to think of ourselves first. But God has not called us to live a life of one--a life of arrogance or insecurity. How can we ever accomplish his assignment for us if we can't get our eyes off of ourselves?
Today, evaluate those things you may struggle with like arrogance or insecurity. See if you have God in the spot of your thought life that He desires to be in. He so wants to be first in your life because He loves you so. He knows you better than you know yourself. Give Him a chance to be #1.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5 ESV