over the next week or two, i am going to take the liberty to revisit some of my old posts. i’ve a couple of
rationalizations reasons for doing this: 1.) they are good, and 2.) only eight people read them the first time around (i don’t blame you, though, some of you weren’t even born when i started blogging). this is my third-ever post and it’s still one of my favorites.
any of you that know me know what a humble guy i am. i’ve been working on my humility for years, and i’m really getting good at it. when someone pays me a compliment, i duck my head and pretend like i’m uncomfortable with praise (deference is a tough sell, even for someone as proficient as me). when someone thanks me for something, i look them full in the eye and convince them that, no, i am the grateful one. with the right group of unsuspecting sycophants, i have even learned to turn the conversation to the subject of christlikeness, and from there I can usually get someone to acknowledge how humble I am. it’s quite a gift. i am really proud of how humble i am.
down through the years i have heard all the warnings about the seductive, corrosive nature of pride. so-called experts talk about pride’s subtle temptation, and how all sin is born out of that original sin. in the bible, it was pride that torpedoed moses’ dreams. if joseph hadn’t popped off to his brothers about bowing down to him, he might have avoided the pit, potiphar, prison, and perhaps israel might have even skipped that messiness in egypt. king david should have been out with his army, but he believed his own press clippings and was seduced–not by bathsheba, but by pride. well not me, baby, i’m humble.
however, i read something a little troubling recently in an article called, “extreme makeover: church edition” by ben ortlip. here is ortlip’s irritating quote:
“people are born with a very sensitive radar. instinctively, we can tell where the center of a person’s universe lies. and your constituency is no exception. it doesn’t matter what your title is, or what you say is important to you. the net take-away of your life is who or what you truly worship on the inside. if you’re all about being a cool church, that will come through. if your innermost goal is to create a personal legacy as a high-impact christian, people will smell it a mile away. but if the epicenter of your life is god and his glory, there will be noticeable aftershocks wherever you go.”
for me, the vexing part is that ”if your innermost goal is to create a personal legacy as a high-impact christian” stuff. isn’t that the whole point of being humble? so people will see jesus in me? of course i want to make an impact…that’s why i’ve worked so hard on this humility thing. could it be that i have a problem with my motives? is it possible that i’m more interested in demonstrating me than demonstrating jesus?
is my “personal legacy” my bathsheba?